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reviews /  editor art review
editor content by: editor
christoph büchel: simply botiful
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Büchel produces gold at the Coppermill.

Swiss artist Christoph Büchel had big shoes to fill when he was asked to create something for Hauser & Wirth’s East London project space. Dieter Roth and Paul McCarthy had both come before him. Buchel’s current show, however, blows both those boys out of the water.

The show adopts the look of a hotel – there’s even a sign outside for people to call the reception. Viewers check in their coat and bag and sign a disclaimer in the realistically shabby lobby before wandering upstairs to a seedy hostel. This then opens out into a giant, empty scrap warehouse, which feels like a recently deserted illegal sweatshop. Büchel opens up ideas of poverty, immigrants, pornography and colonialism in very subtle and disturbing ways.

Voyeurism goes into overdrive here. All the objects and rooms can be touched and interacted with. There are lots of secrets spaces, ladders to climb and holes to crawl through and explore. It would be cruel to reveal their details and ruin the sensation of discovery. Five stars isn’t enough to praise this giant installation. This is the show of the year.


Francesca Gavin 11 January 07 rating of 5
Christoph Büchel: Simply Botiful is at Hauser & Wirth Coppermill, London, open Thursday to Sunday 12pm – 7 pm until 18 March 07.
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