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Come Together is Kerim Seiler’s, large scale project that revolved around bringing people all into a given space. Spun across the Locarno film festival in August was a wide range of multicolored structures, sets and site specific installations that are all a piece of the La Mobiliare collection. These installations intend to get their given audiences to experience what they have to offer as a collective rather than by themselves. It is said that happiness is most real when it is shared.
The majority of your work seemingly focuses on creating structural media with the intent to repurpose the given space that it occupies. What led you to use spaces in the ways you have?
Rather than thinking of space as utilitarian, I try to uncover its poetic qualities through my compositions. Visitors have the liberty to become viewer, performer, director in a poem that is being written as it happens: It's up to them really to decide what role they care to take.
Your range of varying topics and themes you have covered in your work is truly inspiring. When creating objects, structures, installations, etc. what does your creative process look and feel like?
Imagination is half the truth. If I can imagine a composition, my work-performance starts. I see the production process as part of the final composition and it varies a lot, just like my work varies from large-scale installations to classical dry-point printmaking, and from public space to commercial art gallery.
In terms of reusing and repurposing older projects, how do you go about choosing which pieces get to be experienced in new ways and which pieces don’t?
Thank you for this truly interesting question. In the art world, reusing elements of older works is not common practice. Production generally focuses on unique oeuvres that are then inserted to the art market and - hopefully - find their way into private or public collections and their respective vaults.
Many of my works do fit into this category. But there's a whole range of compositions I created that are rooted in a more conceptual approach in which final shape and material configuration are not ultimately defined. This loose collection of works forms what I call the Situationist Space Program. These works as well as their components build the stockpile for larger concepts like Come Together.
This all sounds very serious, but it's a very playful approach.

Looking back at some of your older projects I resonated with Analemma from 2003 and Mindspace from 2006 because they made me remember that it’s ok to slow down, take a seat and appreciate your surroundings. In what ways do projects such as these inspire what you are working on now?
Analemma and Mindspace are both structural compositions to occupy and forget at the same time. They can serve as tools to look at reality as if it were a theatre piece, which makes me think of the Olympics without an audience in Tokyo. In time, I expanded my focus from the grandstand to the all-over. Space became my canvas.
When and where did your love for neon lights start? In what ways do you find that it helps portray your given message across your work?
I had the chance to meet Christian Herdeg, one of the true masters of Neon Art in my mid-twenties. He introduced me to gas, glass, and high voltage. But it was only through a random invitation to compose a Neon artwork for a square in Geneva that I embraced the medium. I didn't get the job, but the seed was planted.
Your wide range of colour and material use help showcase the freedom of your work and how unnecessary the ties to a canvas are. Do you find that your work instills joy and whimsy among those who are present at your installments?
Every medium has its qualities, its time and its place. I hope people are seduced by discovering something about themselves through my work. After all, what we see is produced in our mind.
The positive vibe that your colourful work exudes is exactly what everyone needs right now. In what ways do you want to keep innovating the positivism creative space?
There has never been a better time for positivity. I think this is true throughout History. Joy is that one emotion that makes us Come Together in a good way. Understand my work as a contribution along those lines.

Having your work be a major part of the Locarno Film Festival [in August 2021] must be amazing. Could you explain the layout of the event and why you chose to display it this way?
There used to be a Grande Albergo in Locarno where people would meet after the big screen on the Piazza Grande went black. Every night, extensive fiestas would arise where people from all over the world would gather and embrace the moment. That location was, in a way, the pulsating heart of the Festival. Investors bought it and shut it down. My dream is that the festival-goers will in Come Together and find a space of liberties similar to those in that [Grande Albergo] hotel.
How did you blend older and newer projects together in your large-scale installments for Come Together?
You can think of Come Together as a retrospective with existing works alongside new compositional elements and works by guest artists. Dorothea Strauss who heads the CSR Department of the Swiss insurance la Mobiliare and co-curated this project also chose some works from their art collection and commissioned some new works by Maya Rochat, Julian Charrière and Ekrem Yalçinda.
In terms of your Situationist Space Program, what other forms of media and or artists are helping to inspire you as of late?
Rose Sélavy, Arthur Cravan, Daniel Buren, Gordon Matta-Clark and Quantum Physics.

Trevor Stanner
Lionel Henriod

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