Pedro Wirz and Jan Kiefer’s works couldn’t appear to be more different from each other. They do share one intriguing similitude, however. Both the Brazilian and the Swiss artists create personal mythologies through their sculptures and objects. It is parting from this comparison that Nagel Draxler’s DIKO Reisen-Büro presents “Jan Kiefer, Pedro Wirz, 2018”, on view since May 25th.
Still, these are two very different mythologies. Wirz’s sculptures seem to bespeak a culture of earthy myths of origin and fertility and a primitivistic closeness of prehistoric man and animal. Animal architectures, termite or nest-building, cocoons and eggs merge with human cultural practices (house-building) or serve as their models. In a laboratory that takes its materials from prehistorical imaginaries, Wirz creates hybrid beings, inhabitants of pre-capitalist economies. In his artistic practice, which evokes memories of Art Brut and primitivism, he creates moments of constructed authenticity.
On the other hand, Jan Kiefer’s sculptural arrangements and serial paintings address the myth of the achievements of a middle class, which, thanks to the ongoing redistribution of resources to the top 1%, already faces social decline. Viewed from the front the bottles in the stylish designed wine shelves form a pattern of letters: JA, JA… The voice of Joseph Beuys soundlessly meanders through the sterile space of material wish fulfilment, ja, ja, ja, ja, ja, ne, ne, ne, ne, ne…. The ne, ne, nes are missing in Kiefer’s image. They are replaced by dots. In a consumer culture informed by tautologisms, the opposite poles remain void. In Kiefer’s work, one hears the No (ne) as an echo, in which the counter-world still resonates.
While one could describe the artistic practice of Pedro Wirz as transgressive materialism, with Jan Kiefer one deals with transgressive conceptualism. Both artists create an ambiguous aura of culture, that questions the validity of predominant cultural forces. See some of the artworks featured in the show below:
“Jan Kiefer, Pedro Wirz, 2018”, featuring Jan Kiefer and Pedro Wirz
On view from May 26th through August 31st, 2018
Nagel Draxler DIKO-Reisen Büro
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