Mathis Gasser
Sept sont tombés vers le ciel
Works on paper

Opening Thursday May 19, 2016, 6 PM – 9 PM
Exhibition May 20 – September 3, 2016

Mathis Gasser draws upon and combines thousands of images that he patiently gathered and arranged in a personal archive. Their references come from the arts, architecture, cinema, comics, science fiction, magazines or from current events. In a very elaborated practice of collage, thousands of signs collide and are multiplied in an explosive combination, in a mirror or imbricating effect, diffracted by the immateriality of the digital world and by the invasion of information. The impact that Gasser seeks for through this body of reappropriated, reassociated images that are frequently reworked through drawing and painting, and caught in a sustained and invasive turnover. They oscillate between a nihilistic vision and an interrogation of the limits of a world undermined by temptations of archaism and the resurgence of primal fears, sectarian deliriums, theories of conspiracy and hyper technological and futuristic extravaganzas and other prophecies.

May it echo the explosion of a globalised, out of limit, surreal present or more historical, cultural and artistic references, this proliferation is constructed by Gasser in several series. One of them will constitute a part of the 600-page book edited by the CEC and entitled In the Museum 1 /2 (3). « In the museum » because Mathis Gasser considers the space of the museum as the receptacle for artworks and also as a place interpenetrated by elements that belong to the economic, social, digital, scientific or media world. The second series, Regulators, engages in and develops a more critical and political vision of our society.

In In the Museum 1 /2 (3), the museum is seen as a platform that is in constant dialog between dead objects, artworks and the flow of life. Gasser relates artworks to zombies, objects and living beings at the same time, pre-technological objects, like paintings, and others manipulated by information, new technologies and the virtual world. Artworks kept alive artificially by historical discourse, by museum education and communication.

Mathis Gasser imagines his own museum: a retrofuturistic prophetic projection, penetrated by magnetic waves or by zombies, crossed by an implicit tension and symptoms of an upcoming chaos. In this imaginary museum the works are plunged in a battle between life and death, horror and aesthetics, where even the doppelganger puppet of Christopher Walken (film In the Museum 1 and 2) – this phantom-like, troubling, almost borderline Hollywood figure with a strange and sharp gaze and who seems to come from another place – represents a sort of a stereotypical half-living creature. In these films, Walken walks around in an immaculate mock-up of a fictive museum without relief, and is attacked by artworks whilst at the same time protected by zombies. This tinkered and fantastic story, overflown with bloodstained works and half-dead, would pose as a mirror to our society affected by new expressions of violence, occult forces, primal and irrational fears.

The zombie represents the living-dead, a voracious and hysterical cannibal devouring its ex-congeners, reduced by rising consumerism, turned into an over-adapted, self-regulated, unceasingly consuming and communicating machine, drawn towards self-destruction by the capitalist system, the perfect image of auto-cannibalism. For Mathis Gasser, the museum represents a sort of an institutional matrix, like the United Nations or the European Union that synthesises and symbolises Western beliefs. The contemporary art museum would represent this same fictional space. Gasser fills it with troubling and monstrous characters – Walken and the zombies – themselves pure products of the matrix account who seem to benefit from and disturb at the same time the establishment. These ghostly figures who occupy the museum represent the collective subconscious, which, behind the appearances, influences our society, disrupts its organisation and its mythologies and emphasises its dark and deadly side.

The second series that will be reproduced in this book will constitute the second chapter, Regulators 1 / 2 (n). This generic title, Regulators, marks a stronger connection with the outside world, its state, its topicality, its development. Gasser still envisages it in a fictional, futurist or retrofuturist way, but also as a universe that is more in phase with our reality, unregulated and prone to multiple drifts and disasters (climatic, ecological), to economic crisis (stock market crashes, casino-economy, high frequency trading), to plagues and to terrorism. A land still inhabited by vampires and other zombies, unconscious beings, where ultra violence reigns, a drift that explodes the limits, the landmarks, moral framework and that creates volatility.

This undefined and liquid world leaves the door open to new beliefs, such as sects and secret societies, illuminati and other conspirationsists. The expanding globalisation that was generated by Western capitalism, and which goes beyond all regulation, blows to pieces all common moral and identity references, provoking a black whole, an apocalyptical end of the world impression where theories of science fiction and also instincts of regression, anti-democracy and fascism are summoned. All of these themes that were already tremendously seized by the cinema and TV oscillate between a completely hi-tech and dehumanised future and the return to delirious and unrestrained archaism. We can mention, among others, eXistenZ by David Cronenberg, or the first season of True Detective, Jane Campion’s Top of the Lake or the more recent Ex Machina by Alex Garland.

The term “regulators” makes reference to regulation systems that are set in the financial sphere that Gasser envisages in the background of his work, as a commentary and expression of the emergency and the next foreseeable explosions: new financial, ecological, religious and political distress and the resurgence of some forms of fascism. Most of Gasser’s films put on stage small tales and figures that walk around in mock-ups made by Gasser himself. More recently, he proposed a live performance with real actors who moved around in the exhibition space, dressed as Japanese No or Bunraku theatre characters. For Gasser, the figures of the Regulators series do not represents harmful agents, but rather beings inclined to invent new “contemporary rituals” more open and more inspired by notions of abstraction, aesthetics and ethics.

The exhibition of Mathis Gasser will present an entirely new series of works on paper executed on-site at the CEC, during a period preceding the opening.

In preparation, the edition of the artist’s book:

Mathis Gasser, In the Museum 1/2 (3), Regulators 1/2 (n), offset, 17,5 × 23,5, approx. 480 pages in black, 128 pages in colour, colour and black/white, 300 copies. Graphic design: Niels Wehrspann, Lausanne. Edition of the Centre d’édition contemporaine, Geneva, 2016.

Mathis Gasser was born in 1984 in Zurich. He lives and works in London.
In 2015, Mathis Gasser presented his work in several group and personal exhibitions at the Swiss Institute, New York, at Basic Space, Dublin, Gasthaus zum Bären and at Plymouth Rock in Zurich, at Union Pacific Projects and at Pace Gallery in London, at Centre PasquArt, Biel, and at the William Arnold and Hester galleries in New York. In 2016, he took part in several group exhibitions such as the Swiss Art Awards, Basel, Glasgow International festival and in Wallris, Fribourg. In 2016 he will also have a personal exhibition at Piper Keys, London. Mathis Gasser is represented by the galeries Ribordy contemporary, Geneva, Chewday’s, London and Hester, New York.
The exhibition Mathis Gasser, Sept sont tombés vers le ciel is supported by Pro Helvetia.


Complete list
of exhibitions


I Never Read, Art Book Fair Basel 2022
Paris Ass Book Fair
Mai-Thu Perret
My sister’s hand in mine
Marie Angeletti


Paul Viaccoz

Bridge the gap
Guillaume Dénervaud
Printed Matter’s Virtual Art Book Fair (PMVABF)


Paul Paillet
fascination for fire
Fabian Marti
Such a Good Girl


Open accrochage, editions
The CEC at P.A.G.E.S. Salon du livre d’artiste et de l’imprimé contemporain, Genève
Spring Sale Time
LE CEC à la LA Art Book Fair 2019
Matthew Lutz-Kinoy
What to wear to a concert? Tips for concert outfits: wear your best punk jacket with the right patches !
“A patch meant to be fixed to the back of your jacket depicting relevant cultural affiliations”


Matthew Lutz-Kinoy
The Meadow
Salon MAD#4 (Multiple Art Days)
Paris 2018
Victor Man invites Navid Nuur
Valentin Carron, Marc Camille Chaimowicz, François Curlet…


Jonathan Monk
Directional Advice
Thomas Hirschhorn
Edited by the CEC!
Focus: Mélanie Matranga
Jean-Michel Wicker
Book Launch c/o Section 7 Books, Paris
Jean-Michel Wicker
Book Launch c/o SALTS, Birsfelden/Basel
Presentation of the edition
Jean-Michel Wicker
Jakob Kolding
The Outside or the Inside of the Internalised Externalised
Jean-Michel Wicker
BBiblioteca ffanafffantastica
Presentation of the edition
Jean-Michel Wicker
Belle étiquette


Presentation of the book
Mathis Gasser
In the Museum 1 2 (3),
Regulators 1 2 n
Presentation of the edition
Artists’ Voices
Valentin Carron
Deux épaisseurs un coin
Mathis Gasser
Sept sont tombés vers le ciel
Works on paper
Artists’ Voices


Artists’ Voices
I Never Read, Art Book Fair Basel 2015
Jason Dodge
David Maljkovic
Konstantin Grcic


Raphaël Julliard
Oriol Vilanova
Renoncer à te décrire


Artissima, Turin
NY Art Book Fair
David Hominal
Through The Windows
Jonathan Monk


Salon Light #9, Paris
NY Art Book Fair
Oscar Tuazon
Salon des Dames
Jeffrey Vallance
The Vallance Bible
Nouvelles éditions
Oscar Tuazon
Book Launch c/o Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zürich


Aaron Flint Jamison
Philippe Decrauzat
Book Launch c/o Motto Zürich
Abstractions sentimentales et quelques éditions, Cneai, Paris
Philippe Decrauzat
Gerard Byrne
For example; a sketch of Five Elevations, 1971-72
Presentation of the book
Sgrafo vs Fat Lava


Présentation de l’édition de Pierre Bismuth Something Less, Something More – DIY
Sgrafo vs Fat Lava
Céramiques et porcelaines Made in West Germany, 1960-1980
Susanne M. Winterling
They Called Each Other Horses
Changement d’accrochage: Heimo Zobernig
Fröhliche Gesellschaft,
Parrotta Contemporary Art, Stuttgart


Editions vs. objets
Erik van Lieshout
The Assistant
T. Quelques possibilités de textes
EDITIONS (suite…)
Présentation du catalogue
L’Effet papillon, 1989-2007,
castillo/corrales, Paris


EDITIONS (2004-2008)
Presentation of
L’Effet papillon, 1989-2007
at Maison de la poésie, Basel
Trisha Donnelly
L’Effet papillon, 1989-2007
Olivier Bardin
You belong to me I belong to you
Editions récentes


Gianni Motti
Perpetual Channel
Anne-Julie Raccoursier
Wireless World, BAC, Genève
Otra de Vaqueros (Redux), BAC, Genève
Habitat/Variations, BAC, Genève
Markus Schinwald, BAC, Genève
Andreas Dobler
In Deep Ink, BAC, Genève


The Missing Evidence
Accrochage des éditions 1995-2005
Marie Velardi
Futurs antérieurs, 20006


Christophe Rey
Ocean Bluff
Quelques éditions…
No More Lights On My Starguitar


Florian Pumhösl
Héliogravures et film
M/M (Paris)
Pour hoM/Me,
printemps-été 2004
Mai-Thu Perret
Love thy sister like thyself
Haroutioun Simonian
Performance (à huis clos) & installation vidéo


Filière papier – Filière expo
Monica Bonvicini
Accrochage de l’édition
Finger No. 12
Jakob Kolding
Amy O’Neill et Emmanuel Piguet


Karl Holmqvist
Soirée tropicale
Animation: Vidéos
Rosemarie Trockel
Edition, eaux-fortes, 1996
Monica Bonvicini
Bonded Eternmale


Social Hackers
Fabrice Gygi
Vidya Gastaldon & Jean-Michel Wicker


Editions 2000
Bring the Noise
Bourse du CGGC 1997-1999


Evil Talk: Beyond the pleasure principle
Thomas Hirschhorn
Elke Krystufek
In the Arms of Luck


One Step Backwards: Books,
prints, videos, 1998
LISTE 98, The Young Art Fair,
Usine Warteck, Bâle


Multiples of the Centre genevois de gravure contemporaine
Elena Montesinos
Tune out, Turn off, Drop in
Eté 97
Stan Douglas
Hinrich Sachs

B. Toguo Tamokoué
Gravures et Multiples


Heimo Zobernig
Alexandre Bianchini,
Nicolás Fernández,
Jérôme Hentsch
Alain Julliard
Kristin Oppenheim
Rosemarie Trockel


Thomas Hirschhorn
Les Plaintifs, les Bêtes, les Politiques
Karen Kilimnik
Editions of the Centre genevois de gravure contemporaine
Luc Tuymans
Le Verdict
Estampes et photographies
Yves Gevaert éditeur, Bruxelles


Olivier Mosset
Claude Closky
Alexandre Bianchini

Hubert Mean
Alex Hanimann
Peintures, édition


Giuseppe Penone
Images de pierres
Sigurdur Arni Sigurdsson
Peintures, dessins
Gerry Schum
Fernseh und Videogalerie
John M Armleder
Ian Anüll
Dessins, sérigraphies et éditions
Claude Gaçon


Éditions, 1986-1992
John M Armleder
Jean Stern
Panini alle melanzane
Stephan Landry
Marie Sacconi


Laurence Pittet
Suzanne Lafont
Marcel Broodthaers
Œuvres graphiques, 1964-1975
Jean-Michel Othoniel
¡ Capotes !


Roman Signer
Installation hélicoptère, 1990
Jean-Marc Meunier
Sapins de Noël, 1988-1989
Anne Pesce
Pêcheur, c’est lui qui devient un poisson
Andreas Hofer
Installation – édition


Henri Michaux
Encres, gouaches, aquarelles, lavis
Emmett Williams
Andreas Gursky
Stéphane Brunner
Mori Shigeru