Artist Talk – Raphael Hefti in conversation with Filipa Ramos

8 September 2014

The artist Raphael Hefti was in conversation with curator and art critic Filipa Ramos at the Contemporary Art Society on 25 June 2014.

At the intersection of art, science and alchemy, Raphael Hefti often deliberately misapplies scientific processes to create arresting works across a range of media, from photography to sculpture. Recent works include a series of beautifully coloured photograms, Lycopodium, created by burning the spores of Lycopodium moss against photographic paper and Replaying the mistake of a broken hammer (2011), a shimmering metal rod with the brittle properties of glass, created by deliberately interrupting the steel-tempering process.

In his 2013 solo show, Quick Fix Remix, at Ancient & Modern, London, Hefti demonstrated the process of ‘thermit welding’ in a gallery that was filled with twenty five tonnes of sand in a performance that was enthralling and potentially dangerous. The results of this could be viewed for the rest of the exhibition, creating a monument to industrial imperfection.

The Contemporary Art Society are proud to have recently acquired Hefti’s Disco No. 7 (2006) for Abbot Hall Art Gallery and this talk will give Members the opportunity to hear the artist discuss his diverse practice with renowned critic and curator Filipa Ramos and discover more about his working methods.


Raphael Hefti (b.1978) lives and works in Zurich and London and is represented by Ancient & Modern, London. He studied at Slade School of Fine Art, University College London (2009-2011), Ecole Cantonale d‘art de Lausanne (1998-2002) and undertook an apprenticeship in electronics and mechanics (1993-1997). Recent solo shows include Inside the White Cube at White Cube, Launching Rockets Never Gets Old at Camden Arts Centre and Nature more at CAPC, musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux.

In 2014, Hefti has a permanent glass piece opening at the Van Gogh Museum, Arles, a solo show at Centre PasquArt, Biel. He also curated a season at Lafayette Paris in March.

Filipa Ramos is currently curator of Vdrome, and Lecturer at Central Saint Martins (Art: Moving Image and Art: Exhibition Studies) and at Kingston University (Film Theory).

She was Curator of Research Section dOCUMENTA (13), Associate Editor of Manifesta Journal, and Public Programmes curator at the Antonio Ratti Foundation in Como and is also the co-author of the book Lost and Found – Crisis of Memory in Contemporary Art (Silvana editoriale, Milan, 2009), has been guest curator on many public and private art spaces, and is a regular contributor for several international publications.

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