Michael Asher: Kunsthalle Bern, 1992

Anne Rorimer

One Work Series

COVER-ASHER

For the work Kunsthalle Bern, 1992 (1992), Michael Asher relocated the building’s radiators from its exhibition spaces to its entry-way gallery and presented them as a group. Steel pipes connected them to their original valves, coursing linearly along the Kunsthalle’s walls and keeping the hot water flowing. Such ‘displacement of givens’ offers a perfect example of site-specific practice by Michael Asher, one of the foremost installation artists of the Conceptual art period and an inspiration for institutional critique.

In this detailed examination of Kunsthalle Bern, 1992, Anne Rorimer considers the work in the context of Asher’s ongoing desire to fuse art with the material, economic and social conditions of institutional presentation. Rorimer analyses the work in relation to earlier Minimalist artists like Dan Flavin and Conceptualist such as Marcel Broodthaers, Daniel Buren and Maria Nordman. She also considers how Asher’s practice has resonated with a younger generation including Fred Wilson, Andrea Fraser and Maria Eichhorn.