Feb 16 -
We are proud to announce a solo show by the Swiss-Brazilian artist Pedro Wirz, whose work constitutes one of the most original contributions to sculpture in recent years. Installed at Stalletta, a 17th century, raw and archaic barn, the exhibition comprises of both earlier and recent work, in the form of cocoons and eggs, as well as light installations.
Venture on a journey into a reawakening world, full of surprises, revelations and mythological beings. Existing in their own ecosystems, these creatures germinate simultaneously, in both natural and artificial environments: whilst mutually influencing one another, they bond in a complex interrelationship and thus shift into a gradual equilibrium.
It unveils that everything man-made decomposes and ultimately becomes a part of the natural environment, as every closed system eventually devours itself and starts to break apart. Wirzs’ sculptures display an unusual aesthetic and sense of otherness. These fantastical installations are underlined by a complex craftsmanship and a careful combination of organic and artificial materials. Personal items and found objects, drawing reference to identity, cultural history and their behavioural patterns, are fused with ‘findlings’ from nature. Transformed by the alchemy of artistic labour, the materials are alienated. However, whilst the original identity of the natural and unnatural appears virtually lost, new hybrids (ethnically and historically diffused entities) emerge.
Wirz grew up in the Paraíba Valley, in Brazil, and he draws his inspiration from the region’s mythologies, folklore and popular superstitions. As the coffee industry flourished in the 19th century, the valley experienced a huge demographic shift, thus paving the way for industrialists, merchants, slaves and indigenous people to settle. As a result, a myriad of cultures collided and, over time, fused together. Regrettably, the population’s mass exploitation of its once fertile land ultimately caused the breakdown of the region and its industry.
Drawing reference to our current collapsing ecosystems and the alarming extinction of biodiversity, Wirz titles the exhibition: Wiþ Ymbe. It alludes to an ancient Anglo-Saxon magical spell, intended to keep honeybees from abandoning their hive and swarming into nearby woods. The charm is performed in order to control nature for humanity’s own personal sake. Consequently, the spell refers to the fact that unlike wildlife, humankind has lost its instincts, its sense of belonging and therefore, its orientation. In our attempt to control the environment against all odds, we become ignorant that we, human beings, also emanate from Mother Nature. Notably, our Earth is a complex, self-regulating and synergistic system, with the ability to reclaim its offspring and the capacity to inject new meaning into everything synthetic.
Wirz’s work embodies the Gaia principle, proposing that organisms, collectively interact, adapt and perpetually evolve. The cocoons and eggs, born from this antagonistic cycle, present themselves as ‘interbeings’, whom having risen from the Earth’s essence, fully embrace the unpredicted.
Recent solo exhibitions include; A curbing wall of debris\nesting, Centre Culturel Suisse (Paris, 2019); Breastfed Tadpole, Kai Matsumiya Gallery (New York City, 2018); Fábula, Frisson, Melancolia, Instituto Tomie Ohtake (São Paulo, 2017); Dobrar de Espinho, Anzol, Murias Centeno Gallery (Porto, 2017). In addition, Wirz has been included in numerous two-person and group shows, such as at Galerie Nagel Draxler (Cologne, 2018); Blank Projects (Cape Town, 2018); Tinguely Museum (Basel, 2016); CCS Bard Hessel Museum of Art (New York, 2015); Künstlerhaus Stuttgart (2013); Dortmunder Kunstverein (2013); Palais de Tokyo (Paris, 2013) and Kunsthalle Basel (2011).