Pedro Wirz

Sculpture Exquise

The back wall project is realized in conjunction with the exhibition “How to Work (More for) Less”.

The assumption that a work of art is the result of cooperation between many participants and thus can never be autonomous is the point of departure in the practice of Basel-based artist Pedro Wirz. Wirz, a consummate, highly energetic puller of strings, works as an artist and curator of the collective the forever ending story, showing a great talent for integrating other people into his projects and linking them to one another. For his project “Curated Sculptures” (2010-) he designs a variety of displays like cubes, pedestals, shelf boards or hanging structures made of ropes, and then invites a curator or artist to use them to display things — in this manner sculptures containing collections of plants, texts and works of other artists have been realised.

Sculpture Exquise, Pedro Wirz’ new contribution to “How to Work (More for) Less”, is not located in the exhibition space, but attached to the exterior wall of the ground floor gallery of the Kunsthalle: the Kunsthalle’s back wall, in the public passage way between Elisabethenkirche and the Basel city theatre. The eight wooden sculptures mounted on the black painted wall are the result of collaboration between the artist and his artist friends and executed by the sculptor Simon Ledergerber of the Kunstbetrieb AG in Münchenstein. In the first step, sketches of possible sculptures were made, using the method “Cadavre Exquis” (exquisite corpse) devised by the Surrealists. The principle consists in creating a text or drawing with a group of people in such a way that the sheet of paper is folded after each sketch or piece of text is made so that the next player can see only the last bit, but does not know what the entire drawing or text looks like. The results are collectively created forms and phrases connected in random order. Wirz then had these drawings transferred into three-dimensional sculptures in pine wood. On the wall, the sculptures seem like totems belonging to an unknown rite — which in a certain sense they are, if one thinks about their origin in a group activity involving unconscious actions.

With the generous support of HEIVISCH