The LUMA Foundation is pleased to present Bar Oppenheimer by Tobias Rehberger at the LUMA/Westbau in Zurich from 15 June – 30 August 2014.

German artist Tobias Rehberger creates objects, sculptures and environments as diverse as they are prolific.

Drawing on a repertoire of quotidian objects appropriated from everyday mass-culture, Rehberger translates, alters and expands ordinary situations and objects with which we are familiar.

The work is a sculptural artwork and, at the same time, a fully functioning bar. Zurich Bar Oppenheimer has exactly the same size and proportions of the original Bar Oppenheimer, a regular hangout for the artistic community in Frankfurt. It contained the same furniture and details, from the lighting fixtures to the tall radiators. Unlike the original, Rehberger decorated every surface of the replica bar with black and white stripes, which zigzag in every direction and are interspersed with flashes of red and orange. The patterns are based on the concept of “dazzle camouflage”, a tactic employed during World War I to make it difficult for soldiers to pinpoint a target.

By shifting Bar Oppenheimer’s location, Rehberger renders the familiar unfamiliar and foregrounds the phenomenological to create not only a visual spectacle, but also an immersive environment. He attests that often art is not something to stare directly at, but rather something to be experienced — that something behind the viewer can be just as important as what is in front of him/her. In this work, artistry becomes part of the everyday and almost hidden, thus emulating the bold yet unexpectedly subtle dazzle-camouflaged ships not only aesthetically but also conceptually.