Flavio Merlo / Ben Rosenthal

Bottom Feeders – The Battle of the Cataplasm


We are pleased to announce Flavio Merlo and Ben Rosenthal as the recipients of the Kadist – Kunsthalle Zürich Production Award, offered for the third time to young Swiss artists by the Kadist Art Foundation and Kunsthalle Zürich. Merlo and Rosenthal utilized this grant to conceive and realize Bottom Feeders – The Battle of the Cataplasm, a puppet play staging a crime plot for ten puppets and three stages.

Paul and Ted, two idiots, encounter a dying puppet. A murder, a second, a third. A letter under suspicion. Because comprehending signs may be a deadly virtue. While “bottom feeders“ (a residue-eating fish, or, more colloquially, a creep) eke out a rather miserable living on the expense of others, the cataplasm (a balmy wet pack) entails the capacity to cure. Performed by two actors Bottom Feeders – The Battle of the Cataplasm involves existential contradictions, communicative confusions, and corporeal thresholds.

Actors: Annina Machaz, Garrett Nelson

Trailer: Bottom Feeders - The Battle of the Cataplasm

Biography: Flavio Merlo (*1990 in Zug) studied art history at Zurich University, and art at the Zurich University of the Arts. He works mainly in sculpture, performance and music, fusing stage-like installations and larger spatial environments. Small-scale sculptural pieces often bear resemblance to organic props in a broader play of subversive urgency. Collaborative practice is a crucial ingredient to his work, for example with Stefan Tcherepnin, Emmanuel Rossetti, and Tobias Madison. Merlo’s work was most recently presented at The Power Station, Dallas (2013), Supportico Lopez, Berlin (2013), Marbriers 4, Geneva (2014), and at Basel Art Book Fair (2014).

Ben Rosenthal (*1990 in Zurich) also studied art at Zurich University of the Arts. Through a practise of writing – a novel (A Perfect Lover Is The Angel I Wanna Be, 2012/13), poems, and performances – he generates intimate and/or collective social situations, transposing poetics into spatial contexts. In his two-day project Chora – an event around writing (presented at the Geneva project space Forde, together with Géraldine Beck) for example, the constellations he creates are fundamentally based on collaborations with other artists. Anthropomorphic sculptural works provide Rosenthal with a further field of inquiry into the monstrosities of feeling, imagination, and politics.

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For image enquiries, further information on the exhibition programme and interviews please contact Aoife Rosenmeyer: presse [​at​] or +41 (0)44 272 15 15