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Basel June 2021

Geology, Cooking Heart, Curious
and other stories


Friday 11 June 2021 16h – 20h


12 – 26 June 2021

Thursdays - Saturdays 13h – 19h

Pfeffergässlein 25 (via Nadelberg 33), 4051 Basel

Curator: Angelika Li 


Dorothee Sauter’s solo exhibition “Geology, Cooking Heart, Curious and other stories” (Basel, 2021) offers an extraordinary landscape populated by ambiguous free life forms. One may wonder if the scene is terrestrial or underwater? A myriad of mind games. The enigmatic sculptures stand as a cluster with their own wills: breathing, yelling, grasping; mouths, eyes, ears; protuberances, limbs, phalli; outward, inward, gesturing an urgency of energy discharge, if not explosion. Our eyes drift along these tentacular movements which suggest a potent life force with immense resilience and willpower.  The colours are unmanipulated raw pigments from different continents, disarming in their utmost honesty. Placed together they create an almost-palpable fluctuation in atmosphere and temperature. Are they vessels carrying distant ancestral memories, dwellings inhabited by organisms beforetime, rhizomes in evolution, symbols of fertility or a group of quasi-objects extending from Bruno Latour’s concept of a ‘parliament of things’? Sauter wittily muddles our sense of time, shifting prehistory and future.


Staying curious, Sauter’s technical interest is geared towards the properties and transformation of clay minerals, metal oxides and the vitreous state of rocks, with aspirations to bring together testimonies from completely different geological time periods into her work. To Sauter, her sculptures are films for the mind’s eye: fragments of memory whether conscious or subconscious, moments in a lecture, images in the newspaper, something she has seen but cannot fully understand, stimulation by science and literature. Her goal is not only the finished sculptures and vessels, it is also her developing process: the peculiar poetry of becoming, the dance between intent and chance.

Excerpt from the curatorial essay by Angelika Li


Image above: Cooking heart, 2021, fired clay, pigments, 40 x 15 x 11 cm (detail) photo: Marco Schibig

New Work

photos: Marco Schibig

photos: Nici Jost


Selected Previous Work


"Physical spaces emerge that are oriented towards past and future movements.

During this process, top-heavy intellectual approaches strike me as uncanny, something like recurring ruins. The answers of the hands are self-guided."

"An experimental process favours unpredictable results."