Tanja Bürgelin-Arslan

Visualizing the invisible. Video impressions

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Art in public SpaceS. Wings of Hope


For years, the Roche Innovation Center Zurich has been focusing its research on the antibody, an important part of the human immune system and, simultaneously, the scientists’ hope in fighting disease. This is why they wanted a work of art linked to this research topic to embellish the lobby of the new RICZ Tower. Only visible under an electron microscope, this body had to be realized and expanded from 10 nanometers by a factor of almost 3 billion.
Visitors are now welcomed by an artistic representation of the antibody built to scale, which is delicately and carefully composed of thousands of individual parts – just as the human antibody consists of thousands of amino acids.

The winding protein chains resemble wings extending upwards. These, in turn, are the receptors of antigens.
 Therefore, the antibody is perceived as the

“What fascinated me most about this project was this common ground between science and my art – making things visible that are otherwise invisible.
 My intention was to express my fascination for the miracle of the Great Design in this sculpture.”

Tanja Bürgelin-Arslan

Roche Innovation Center Zurich, 2019
Commissioned by: Roche Innovation Center Zurich
Artist: Tanja Bürgelin-Arslan
Materials: maple, oak, stainless steel
Individual parts: 50.010 pieces
Dimensions: 230 x 124,5 x 284 cm
(L x W x H)
Wooden Space Frame: David Muspach, architekt/ inventor, originator and licensor
Exclusive License for the use of Wooden Space Frame in art: Tanja Bürgelin-Arslan; production of wooden parts Vebo Genossenschaft Oensingen (CH)

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Sculpture. Aura

„Some people have a very radiance about them. When they enter a room, the sun seems to rise. But how can this aura, this glory that surrounds these people, become visible in a work of art?
 This is how the idea for Aura originated – many small nails connected with fine gold wire. As in life, what you see depends on the angle at which you look at it … 

The glory of God radiates around people and lets them shine.“ 
Tanja Bürgelin-Arslan

Wood/ brass (3,200 nails)

Dimensions: 49 x 49 x 40 cm

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Sculpture. Prayers

“I would like to bring prayer more into our consciousness again, it is always lost in our hectic times. Prayer is and remains the connection between us humans and God, at prayer we are quasi online.”

The Idea for this installation came during a church service when the whole church was praying in tongues.
The fact that God himself speaks though us people fascinates me, in particular:
It is a holy language, also a very intimate prayer language between believers and God.
I sensed this was a sublime moment and, before my inner eye, saw the prayers rise up like a cloud. This vision accompanied me ever since, and I had the desire to realise it artistically.
 It took over two years for the idea to mature to the point where it could be implemented. A total of almost 70 people were involved in the project.

Over a period of two years, Tanja Bürgelin-Arslan collected prayers of Christians from all over the world.
 Prayers are the connection between mankind and God.
The entirety of Christians forms the church of Jesus, and this art installation shows the church of Jesus praying: 
Like a cloud, the prayers rise from earth to god.
 They are very precious, therefore, they are made of very high-quality material, i.e. of mirror-polished stainless steel.
 On the ceiling, there is a round mirror from which the prayers hang on transparent threads.
 Below, on the floor, there is another round mirror of the same size suggesting spatial depth and infinity, thus symbolizing the connection between heaven and earth: It shows the infinite depth of the relationship between god and mankind. 
In addition, one hears prayers spoken and sung:
 Several sound track are played in parallel as “The Church Praying”
. One prayer fades in and out again as if one were passing a praying person. Then another prayer fades to the foreground.
 “I would like to bring prayer more into our consciousness again, it is always lost in our hectic times. Prayer is and remains the connection between us humans and God, at prayer we are quasi online.”

Tanja Bürgelin-Arslan


Visual and acoustic installation, 2013
Artist: Tanja Bürgelin-Arslan
Materials: mirror-polished stainless steel and glass mirror

Dimensions: mirror diameter 1.5 m, height approx. 5 m

Audio: sung and spoken language prayers: 11 min


Note: The installation Prayers from around the world was first exhibited in 2013 at the PROvocate exhibition at the Filter4 Cultur Affairs gallery in Basel.

Commissioned work: art in public space.
The Sozialwerk Nazareth in Norddeich then commissioned Tanja Bürgelin-Arslan to create a spatially appropriate prayer artwork for their Friedenskirche. This was inaugurated at Easter 2015 in the Friedenskirche in Norddeich.

The installation Prayers from Around the World was first exhibited in 2013 at the PROvocate exhibition at the Filter4 Cultur Affairs gallery in Basel. After that, among others, in Rome.

COMMISSIONED WORK OF ART: The exhibition of the sculpture Prayers from Around the World in Basel aroused public interest.
 In 2015, Sozialwerk Nazareth in Norddeich, Germany commissioned Tanja Bürgelin-Arslan to create a prayer sculpture* to fill the provided space at their Friedenskirche church. This was inaugurated at Easter 2015 at Friedenskirche in Norddeich. 

*Prayer sculpture in a public space: Friedenskirche Norddeich.

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Art in public space. Duck portal


The ducks may have flown away in the Duck Swarm area, but the name and the water – stream and elevated groundwater – have remained. This moment of flying away – ducks taking off from the water – is captured by the duck portal.
Coming from Binzen, the village of Eimeldingen begins with the traffic traffic circle – the traffic circle is the entrance, the gateway to the village.

In the Renaissance, a portal was the main entrance of a representative building. Here the duck sculpture forms the main entrance to the village of Eimeldingen.
The wings of two ducks form this portal, through which the view of Eimeldingen is kept clear. The position of the portal is oriented towards the federal road as the most important traffic axis. In the opposite direction, the postcard idyll of Ötlingen remains visible.
The ducks, visible from afar, fulfill the desired stop effect on the federal highway.
 For traffic safety reasons, the view through the duck sculpture is advantageous: the entire traffic situation remains in view.
The prospering community of Eimeldingen is embodied in a deeper sense by the ducks taking off for new shores.

Eimeldingen, inauguration 2007
1st prize in the competition for the design of the traffic traffic circle
Materials: steel
Dimensions: 10 x 10 x 5 m

Weight: 10 tons (one duck 2,5 t)

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