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Ben Rosenthal & Flavio Merlo, Jazz en Carton, 2015. Various Materials, Text, Performance. Courtesy of the artists.

Ben Rosenthal & Miriam Laura Leonardi, Steht Ihr mir im Licht, 2016. HD-Film. Courtesy of the artists.

Ben Rosenthal & Flavio Merlo, Bottom Feeders - The Battle of The Cataplasm, 2015, Courtesy of the artists, Photo: Basil Stücheli.

Ben Rosenthal & Flavio Merlo, Resonanzkatastrophe, 2016. Installation View. Courtesy of the artists. Photo: Max Reitmeier.

Working across performance, film, and sculpture, Ben Rosenthal’s practice seeks to problematize the possibilities of artistic production, including personal dispositions. These inquiries are often played out within intimate and/or collective social situations. The recent work Bottom Feeders - The Battle of the Cataplasm (2015) (created in collaboration with Flavio Merlo) featured a puppet play performed by two actors which explored existential contradictions, communicative confusions, and corporeal thresholds.

During his residency at Gasworks, Rosenthal will develop a musical performance conceived for a Stroh violin, an instrument related to the violin, but with the resonance body of the violin replaced by a diaphragm and a flaring metal horn. Drawing inspiration from Henry Flynt’s texts ‘Art or Brend?’ (1968) and ‘The Meaning of My Avant-Garde Hillibilly and Blues Music’ (1980) as well as his musical practice, Rosenthal aims to create a piece of music that derives from his personal (ascribed or assumed) ethnic background.


Ben Rosenthal lives and works in Zurich. Recent exhibitions include, Resonanzkatastrophe, Kunsthalle Fri-Art, Fribourg; How to cut your throat and smile, Schloss, Oslo (both in collaboration with Flavio Merlo); Young Girl Reading Group Show, Kunsthalle Zürich at Art Geneve; and Bad Mood, Plymouth Rock, Zürich (all 2016). He was recently awarded the IAAB Reisestipendium with Miriam Laura Leonardi, with whom he also runs Adar (, an exhibition space located inside a grocery store in Zurich.

Ben Rosenthal’s residency is supported by Pro Helvetia.