Baloise Art Forum: Luke Fowler

Basel, Exhibition at the Baloise Group Art Forum: Luke Fowler.

24 November 2016 – 26 May 2017
Art Forum opening hours: Tuesday, 31 January and 16 May 2017 at 12:30 for a guided tour by curator Martin Schwander or by appointment.

Luke Fowler (born 1978) is a film-maker, photographic artist and musician who lives and works in Glasgow. His work explores the conventions and limits of biographical and documentary film-making, and he primarily works with material from film and sound archives. This material forms the basis for portraits of intriguing countercultural figures, such as the Scottish psychiatrist R. D. Laing and the English composer Cornelius Cardew. Against this backdrop it comes as no surprise that Fowler's work has often been compared to the British Free Cinema movement of the 1950s.

It is immediately obvious from his photographic work that the relationship to analogue technology plays a defining role for Fowler. He opposes the seductive, high-gloss aesthetics of the consumer world, with his artistic strategy encompassing light reflections, underexposure and overexposure, as well as other photographic 'imperfections'.

The two most recent Fowler works to have been included in the Baloise collection are Perfect Lives (2015, 20 photos) and Catalogue of Inscribed Acts (2015, 18 photos). Both series are arranged in a prescribed manner.

In both works Fowler proves to be a silent and precise observer of the everyday world around him. The criteria upon which he bases the arrangement of his photos, however, can be quite difficult to grasp. Equally puzzling are the often minimalist narrative threads that appear in each photograph.  

On his photographic forays through cities and their public buildings Fowler sensitises us to the banal and the useless, the misused and the ephemeral. It is along these fault lines that Fowler shows us the history of everyday things and how we interact with them now.

The Baloise Group is more than just a traditional insurance company. The changing security, safety and service needs of society in the digital age lie at the heart of its business activities. The 7,300 or so employees of Baloise therefore focus on the wishes of their customers. The best possible customer service, combined with innovative products and services, makes Baloise the first choice for people who want to feel ‘simply safe’. Located at the heart of Europe, with its head office in Basel, the Baloise Group is a provider of prevention, pension, assistance and insurance solutions. Its core markets are Switzerland, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg. In Switzerland, with Baloise Bank SoBa, the Group also operates as a specialised financial services provider, offering a combination of insurance and banking services. The Group offers innovative pension products to retail customers throughout Europe from its competence centre in Luxembourg. Bâloise Holding Ltd shares are listed in the main segment of the SIX Swiss Exchange.