Linus Bill + Adrien Horni

Linus Bill (*1982) + Adrien Horni (*1982) live and work in Bienne, Switzerland.

We’ve all known each other for a few years now; we met through publishing in Zurich and then in Helsinki. Are you still interested in publishing and edition?

A mutual interest in printing and publishing was the beginning of our collaboration. La deuxième chance (Turbo Magazine Nr. 41) was the first book we did together. Books are the foundation for our work and therefor keep being essential to our process. We are interested in how accessible they are, how easy they travel.

Explain your process of work from small compositions to larger paintings/sculptures…

New series we do usually start with small compositions that we create in large quantities in a sort of ping pong habit. The techniques vary from hand made to digital and mostly we set tasks and rules that push the works in a certain direction. The resulting images we edit down to print in a publication where they act as reproductions of paintings, sculptures or whatever we see in them. In a second step we create the original artworks according to the reproductions in the book. Once we choose a pieces, we decide on material, size, color, etc. and search for the ideal technique to translate the small to the big format.

In a book, almost everything is possible, there are no limits. About problems concerning realization we can worry later.

What does it mean to work as a duo?

Well, it’s easier to work on big scales. We also get more things done in less time. It means a lot of talking, taking decisions goes faster. You have a better distance to your work. You can be more objective, so it’s easier to judge the work.

But it’s also difficult to find common time to work together.

You provided the artworks for our SS16 collection, tell me about your experience with that. Have you had any prior experiences with fashion?

What was interesting in the process was that there were many parameters that were set. We like to work like that, having clear guidelines and requirements that you can react to and find solutions for.

for a future project it could be interesting to do something where we are more involved and see how our methods translate to fashion.

I know you were doing Skate videos… can you tell me more about that?

L: Through skateboarding i got interested in video and photography. To record tricks was the reason to always carry a camera with me. Since we were not that good at it, i got more interested in what was happening around and took pictures of this. I like how you use things that were built for a certain purpose in a different way with skateboarding. Things become another meaning, when you see stairs or a curb you see opportunities.

Are you interested in poetry? Do words and language have an importance to your work?

Language in terms of communication between the two of us is essential. The titles of our publications and exhibitions are important to put the work in a context and give it it’s amplitude. And the titles of the works are important to link them to the books as their source.

You told me you were currently working on a Public art project. How interested are you in presenting your work in the “street”?

We are working on a "Kunst am Bau“ project for a newly constructed school building in Switzerland. As a base we used drawings from the kids and made a extensive book with digital collages. Out of these we will translate nine images into large-scale mosaic works and apply them in the hallways throughout the building.

What is interesting is, that we reach another audience outside of the art world. It is a permanent installation that will be around for decades. That’s also why it makes sense to work in mosaic. But the whole project is very local. So in order to make it accessible to more people we work with books. The books are out there on the „streets“ and reach a broader audience.

Ellsworth Kelly just passed away, was he a big influence?

Not very much.

If not, which artist(s) are you influenced by?

L: Adrien Horni

A: Linus Bill

You live in Switzerland / Bienne. Can you tell me about your connection with the city?

Home, family, friends.

Does it bring anything special or influence your practice in any way?

It’s a very small town, but we have everything we need to work. It’s a rather cheap town and this brings a lot of comfort with it, which allows us to focus on our work.

I am curious to know more about your book Sculptures?

We intended to make "paintings" again, in the process we realized that what came out of the copy machine looked more like sculptures. so we went this way. Bronze Age Editions did a very good job realizing the book. Two years later we started to build these sculptures out of concrete. So far we realized four pages of the Sculptures book. The next goal is to build one for a permanent installation outside.

How interested are you in photography now?

It’s an important tool for us that we use for different purposes. We use it for documentation of our work, it’s how the majority of the people know our work. We do also use it to proof and judge our works.

What’s next for you guys?

The mosaic project in the school is very demanding and takes a lot of our time. So we postponed all exhibition projects for now in order to focus on it and give it the attention it needs.

Conversation with Linus Bill & Adrien Horni, January 2016. Photography by Maxime Guyon