Towards noon on 25 December 2011, three men shouldering boxes were seen at the Lehni bus stop in Amden; heavily laden, they set off soon afterwards, trudging through the deep snow in the direction of the lake. The well-padded boxes contained large, coloured balls of blown glass, while the backpacks were filled with pastries and champagne to be carried up to the hut in the Zand, where Kaspar Müller was to exhibit the balls for just one afternoon. It was a beautiful winter day. Once the boxes had arrived, Müller strung the twenty-five spheres on a cord which he then nailed onto the façade of the old wooden building. Like earlier projects already executed there, the exhibition emphasized the scale of an artwork in relation to the landscape. The building stands alone, and the artist’s use of it in conjunction with his work transformed it, even if only for some forty visitors and for the duration of an afternoon. Later on, when most of the visitors were on their way home again, the glass balls were taken down and packed away in the boxes again.
Standing in the snow in front of the decorated hut on that particular day in December, we naturally thought of Christmas; but Müller’s string of glass balls went further, making a statement about the idea of decoration in general. Each of the spheres was hand-blown, and the cord on which they were strung looked like natural fibre, although it was actually an industrially produced synthetic. Müller’s art attests to his fascination with a reality that depicts or imitates a fictional reality. The examples of this in popular culture are legion, and he makes liberal use of them, in particular the interior decorations found in furniture shops and department stores. Kaspar Müller is well-versed in Pop Art, which appropriated and incorporated the commodity universe long before he was born. The works made of glass contained a ‘homeopathic’ dose of this fascination. Moreover, they were a perfect match for the picture-postcard appearance of the snow-covered landscape above Lake Walensee. Repetition and serialism are concepts that can be enlisted not only for a discussion of these glass objects; they also structure numerous works of contemporary art. Richard Wollheim, who coined the term Minimal Art in 1965, used it to describe the tendency towards the radical reduction of both form and content that he had observed in contemporary art. Meanwhile, as we learned in Amden, the artist’s multiplication of simple, yet decorative, empty shapes allows for new readings even in circumstances that are alien to art.
– Roman Kurzmeyer