Opening: 09.06.23 from 18:00 – 23:00
09.06.23 – 15.07.23Special opening hours during Zurich Art Weekend
Public programTalk by Marco Antonini on 10.06.23 at 14:00 The Obsolete In Reverse: Robert Smithson And Science Fiction
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“If prose is a house, poetry is a man on fire running quite fast through it.”
Leila Peacock quoting Anne Carson in ‘Let It Burn: Pyroflatulence and the Art Meme’, commissioned by Freeze Magazine and Open Space Contemporary
At times life might come across as plain weird, or taking it from another angle quite poetic. With its cyclical paradoxes, history has shown us how extraordinary realities might not be so very far from our ordinary existence, but rather reoccurring in a cyclical nature. Already in 1725, Italian philosopher Giambattista Vico foreshadowed this idea: that history goes through “corsi e ricorsi” namely cycles and counter cycles of growth and decay, and that language, myth, folklore become the lenses through which society can be interpreted and comprehended.
The act of focusing on the existence of these different levels of reality, as described by Italo Calvino, proves to be an effective tool to tackle reality’s incongruities. Like a moving sand dune, speculative writing presents a reality in constant flux. Boundaries are porous and transitional. In doing so, speculative writing helps us to ostensibly relate to reality in a more symbolic and encrypted way while arming us with metaphors and a vocabulary that help us understand our times.
“Facts are no more solid, coherent, round and real than pearls are. But both are sensitive” Ursula K. Le Guin once wrote. She precisely points out the ability of speculative writing in masterminding a narrative capsule where the real and the unreal collapse. In line with this sentiment, the practices of Leila Peacock and Gil Pellaton capture this very ability of bringing to life landscapes of the (im)possible. At Last Tango, be it through materially charged sculptures and visually dense diagrams, their spatial and sensorial interventions mess with our ways of navigating space. Punctuating the space with voluptuous and multi-directional shapes are Pellaton’s zipped assemblages of found objects made from thrifted synthetic textiles and casted aluminum forms with paprika infused counter-reliefs. In Peacock’s works the written word is either engraved, or indented or painted on and in-between images, fusing multivalent half-familiar symbols that sit between the archaic, the aesthetic and the mystical. Despite lighting up our senses with suggestive inputs, the featured works leave their reading open. The artists’ shared interest in narration, time travel, and fable making, have led them to work collaboratively on a text. Developed over the course of a few months, via a digital correspondence, this exchange has explored the resonances that many beginnings might create when nested into each other while also setting the tone for the exhibition.
 “Whether there is such a thing as Reality, of which the various levels are only partial aspects, or whether there are only levels, is something that literature cannot decide. Literature recognizes rather the “reality of the levels.” Italo Calvino, “Levels of Reality in Literature,” Florence, September 1978.
 Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness, pg 1, Ace Books New York, 2000.
With additional texts by Stefanie Hessler and Leila Peacock
Leila Peacock (born 1981, Great Britain) is an artist and writer based in Zürich. She holds a Master’s degree in Literature from McGill (2006) and Visual Arts from ZHdK (2015). A selection of her most recent exhibitions include: APOCALYPSO NOW, Südpol Theater, Luzern (2021-2022); Werkschau, Museum Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich (2022); The Point, NICC, Brussels (2021); The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar. It was tense, al_vista, Zurich (2020); Of Color, Helmhaus, Zurich (2019); LEILA PEACOCK, Binz 39, Zurich (2017). Her essays have been published in The Bulletin of the Serving Library, The White Review, Camenzind, and Gully Havoc. Prizes and scholarships include: Nominated Swiss Art Awards (2020); Winner Kunst am Bau ‘Schulhaus Freilager (2019); Atelier of the city of Zurich (2019); Kadist – Kunsthalle Zürich Production Award (2016); Werkstipendium Stadt Zürich (2016); Binz39 Atelierstipendium (2015-17).
Gil Pellaton (born 1982, Biel, Switzerland) lives and works in Biel. He studied at the School of Design from 2002 to 2005 and continued his education at the Institut Kunst HGK FNHW in Basel from 2015 to 2017 where he graduated with a Master in Fine Arts. His most recent solo exhibitions include: Hennissement, Kunsthaus Centre d’Art Pasquart, Biel (2022); Whoo-hoo the chimeric we, der Tank, Basel; Cockroach Or Queen?, Last Tango, Zurich; Cosmique cosmétique, Ferme de la Chapelle, Geneva (2020); Primordial soup, Innen space, Zurich; Chévere! La migración de las sonrisas!, crispr, Bogota (2017); INTO CORIANDER, sic! Raum für Kunst, Luzern (2017). Prizes and scholarships include: Manor Prize Bern (2022); Louise Aeschlimann and Margareta Corti Scholarship (2020); Anderfuhren Award (2011); Kiefer Hablitzel Göhner Art Prize (2010).