2011, Wooden Archival Box with letters. Collaboration mit Ilse Ermen (DE)

by ‘Expanded Painting – Korrespondenzen’ between  Basel (Projektraum M54) andKünstlerhaus Wien. Idea: Ilse Chlan (Wien), Nicole Schmölzer (Basel)

Expanded painting is based on a process of reflection on the medium of painting in the context of the predominance of the new technical media. The focus of the project is on the process of dialogue between artists: from two neighboring countries.


In the dialogue between Ilse Ermen and Barbara Höller, both analog means of communication (postcards, letters, scraps of writing) and virtual possibilities (mail, jpgs, scans) were used.

The system was an open one, in which artistic messages are sent, which the addressee can change at will and can also be sent back at will.


The content revolves around the thematic focus of “extended painting”. In addition to colors, shapes and materials, these are also text modules about content and action problems within the artistic environment.


The compilation of the correspondence in an index card shows how Höller and Ermen pick out factors from the messages, shift levels of meaning or even reinforce them. Another level of exchange arises in the medium of artistic intervention.


The chronological sequence clearly shows how much the two artists initially work on their differences, find it difficult to accept and understand the work of the other, or to respond to suggestions regarding content. Nevertheless, the process gains momentum in order to result in a natural articulation. The own and the other are thrown together, trying to find a balance.


The index card as a preliminary result of the correspondence that lasted several months is filled with results that show a dual authorship.