Olaf Breuning’s series of Home films have long enjoyed cult status in the art world but with each new project the Swiss-born artist seems to be reaching new eyes and ears. Like its predecessors in the series, Home 1 and Home 2, which were set in Machu Picchu, Ghana and Tokyo, Home 3 (set to premiere at the Swiss Institute in New York on September 4) features the artist’s friend Brian Kerstetter as an apparently deranged tourist - this time in Breuning's adopted home town. “It’s my homage to New York,” the artist told the NY Observer recently.
In the film, Kerstetter romps in a stretch Hummer limo with two half-naked blonde strippers as a male midget stripper looks on. Later on he dons an “Angry Bird” costume and has a steak at Balthazar. According to Swiss Institute director Gianni Jetzer, “the character is a little bit from another planet, he’s a lonely character. There’s something quite melancholic about him.”
Whereas the first two Homes were self-funded Home 3 was financed by a grant from the Metamatic Research Initiative, an organisation set up in 2009 by two Dutch collectors who wanted to preserve the legacy of Swiss-French artist Jean Tinguely, perhaps best known for his own Homage to New York, an enormous sculpture presented at MOMA in 1960 and designed to self-destruct. The comparisons haven't gone unnoticed. “In Tinguely’s The End of the World II he brought a very sharp, cloaked message about how the world really wasn’t as funny as we all think. That’s what Olaf does as well,” Metamatic Research Initiative director Siebe Tettero told the Observer.
Breuning and Kerstetter started making films together in the 1990s in Zurich, and continued to do so after they both moved to New York around 2000. Kerstetter was once thrown out of Machu Picchu for chasing an alpaca while wearing a bull’s head. Breuning has hinted that the latest film could be the last one in the series: “I think the naiveté is connected to this innocent moment of jumping into the world. For a 42-year-old man, that gets lost.”
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