Gallery Stephan Witschi presents the exhibition Memories of Perception with works by Mona Kuhn and Marianna Rothen.
Playing with reflections, mirroring effects and transparencies, capturing the moment or emphasizing staged compositions, the displayed photographs are exploring the emotional qualities of light and shadow. Presented as a chimeric storytelling, the works of both artists intertwine and their images plumb the depths of the subconscious by setting them up in a specific environment or frame, rendering their subjects in metaphorical tableaux.
“A picture can trigger a buried memory and recall a precise moment in time much more rapidly than words. This is possible because our brains are extremely efficient at storing the ‘essence’ of a picture, capturing not just the subject but specific visual qualities.” Both artists’ approach is about the elusiveness of reality as well as memory. Presenting works that oscillate between personal, cultural, and collective identity, they relate to intimate testimony of the self in Marianna Rothen’s work versus the other’s in Mona Kuhn’s portrayal process.
While Mona Kuhn, in her experimental approach of the nude, works in close relationship with her models by giving them a freedom of expression in regard to their depiction, Marianna Rothen stages herself and friends in peculiar scenarios using archetypes and ideals taken from the silver screen imagery.
Formatted as a visual diary, each scene feels stitched together of both past and present, via light, shadow and reflection. The photographs, rich with metaphor and abounding harmonious details, play with the construction of space as much as time. Shadows multiply, patterns reply, it is almost as if our vision is confronting our memory, asking us to question what it means not only to see a space but to exist within it.
As a result, looking at both artists’ photographs is like looking at a multiplicity of stories in which we can relate to our own inner experience. Recollecting the memory of subconscious experiences, they shed light on a story that could belong to us all. By blurring the boundaries between absence and presence; between the possible and the impossible, between the visible and the hidden, we recall memories of perception.
Alice Le Campion
Mona Kuhn – Marianna Rothen : Memories of Perception
25 Mar 2022 – 7 May 2022
Galerie Stephan Witschi
Zwinglistrasse 12, 8004 Zurich
 Quote by Dr Daniel Glaser, director of Science Gallery at King’s College London