Yves Netzhammer

Gesichtsüberwachungsschnecken (Face Surveillance Snails)Zoom

Yves Netzhammer, Gesichtsüberwachungs-schnecken, 2017
U1 Altes Landgut, 1100 Wien

Permanent installation on 4 areas, powder-coated aluminum panels with flip-flop special lacquer (approx. 830 square meters)

Yves Netzhammer's work Gesichtsüberwachungsschnecken (Face Surveillance Snails) for the subway station Altes Landgut reflects the history of physiognomy and anthropometry, linking them with current issues of surveillance and control, and the history of portraiture.

Subway stations are zones of transit, where large quantities of human beings come together and are monitored accordingly. But they are also places of "the encounter with thousands of strange faces," as Yves Netzhammer writes. This is especially true for the subway station Altes Landgut, which is located in a multicultural district.

The 63 stylized portraits on the walls of the subway station are a playful tribute to the diversity of these people. Starting from the proportions and patterns of a facial recognition software, Yves Netzhammer has drawn a wide variety of physiognomies and "a panopticon of stylized faces, settled between animals and humans, between women and men, old and young".

They are humorous depictions with many loving details. If you look more closely, you notice that the faces are not simply drawn from dots and lines. Instead, snails suddenly become eyebrows, a small herd of animals forms into a human bit, a fir tree becomes a nasal fold. The users of the subway station will have fun exploring these subtleties over time. The relationship between humans, animals and nature as well as the constant transformation of elements are central components of Yves Netzhammer's work.

The installation has been realized as a joint project by WIENER LINIEN (Public Transport Vienna), KÖR Kunst im öffentlichen Raum Wien (Public Art Vienna).




Yves Netzhammer was born in Schaffhausen in 1970, he lives and works in Zurich.

Yves Netzhammer studied Art at the Zurich College of Art and Design.
Since 1997 he has been working on a widely ramified, poetic cosmos of imagery.
His video installations, objects, slide shows and drawings fascinate through their bodily charisma and their formal clarity. The playful recombination of elements which seemingly can not be combined leads to the threshold of our existence’s dark side: soothing aspects interlock with displeasing ones, the dead melts with the alive into creatures never seen before, and the depicted scenarios run from microscopic to giant scales.

Solo exhibitions include LWL, Münster (2016), Kiev Biennale, Kiev (2015), MONA, Tasmania (2013), Minsheng Art Museum Shanghai (2013), Kunstmuseum Luzern (2011), Kunstmuseum Bern (2010), Palazzo Strozzi (2009), SFMOMA, San Francisco (2008), Venice Biennale (2007), Karlskirche Kassel (supporting program documenta 12, 2007), Museum Rietberg, Zürich (2006), Kunsthalle Bremen (2005) and Helmhaus Zürich (2003). Group exhibitions include Liverpool Biennale (2010), Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg (2007), Witte de With and TENT, Rotterdam (2006), Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg (2006) and National Gallery Prague (2005). Yves Netzhammer lives and works in Zurich.