Tropical. Vom Zeigen und Sehen
29 June – 24 August 2013
Today, artists are often in demand as curators. At the same time, curators increasingly see themselves as co-producers of artists. The Brazilian artist Pedro Wirz takes this new mix of role models as the starting point for his exhibition at the Dortmunder Kunstverein: He commissioned nine female curators to describe themselves in short texts, as well as their favorite sculpture and their favorite painting, without naming their titles. Wirz translated the texts, gave them to artisans in his Brazilian homeland, and in turn commissioned them to translate the descriptions into drawings, paintings, and sculptures. In this way, the Figureiras de Taubaté - an association of traditionally working artisans from Taubaté, São Paulo - created a series of modern and contemporary sculptures, which draw on their own traditional motifs in their design.
For the exhibition Vom Zeigen und Sehen. Pedro Wirz: Tropical (engl.: About showing and seeing. Pedro Wirz: Tropical), the Basel-based artist designs a display that draws on Brazilian souvenir stores, bamboo decorations, and furniture, typical of everyday life. Wirz ironically mirrors the shifting roles in the exhibition business by dividing up the creative process and delegating it to different players. ‘I'm interested in collaborations. For the exhibition at the Dortmunder Kunstverein, I developed new methods for my way of working,’ Wirz says. ‘Many ideas are rooted in my Brazilian homeland, where I have not been for many years due to my studies in Switzerland. I have perceived these ideas anew in the last few months and processed them artistically. Hence the title Tropical.’ By setting the rules for the creative process of the works, Wirz allows scenarios to emerge that he calls games - playing fields on which the various players interact with each other. A practice he already tested in 2011 in his series of works curated sculptures at Kunsthalle Basel. With the current exhibition, Pedro Wirz reflects not only his own background, but also the views and standpoints of the nine curators involved in the postgraduate course Kunstkritik und kuratorisches Wissen (engl. Art Criticism and Curatorial Knowledge) at the Ruhr University Bochum.
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