Art@Site Wim Delovoye Tour

Wim Delovoye



Jing'an Sculpture Park
Tour, 2010, laser cut corten steel, 700 x 700 x 1200 cm, JISP, 2012.
Delvoye is dreaming up even larger projects. He would like to be commissioned to build museums. 'I want to build castles, towers, staircases. I am not cheap but I am less expensive than maybe others - I mean we are not talking more than one Picasso to do a huge project!'
His work continues to use highly skilled craftsmanship. The Gothic trucks are beautifully ornate, and it doesn’t take art history to appreciate the intricacy of the filigreed work.
'Yes that’s so eternal. How do you judge archeological stuff? How do you judge sculpture...why does culture for thousands of years focus on craftsmanship and then all of a sudden in the 20th century it stops?! The expectation is if you are literate, you like abstract art, monochromes and conceptual art - the reasoning is that working class people are too stupid to understand modern art.'
His current project involves buying a castle to convert into an architectural project, a kind of museum. His recent Cor-Ten towers could be construed as pure architectural elements -and here again he is challenging the compartmentalizing of art in areas traditionally 'off-limits.' His ironic art, and gothic dumptrucks are popular, but he feels the need to move on. 'The market would want me to continue this work. But I see the conservative forces in the market.'
'For the 60s generation - Lichtenstein, for instance, was making variations of the same theme his whole artist cannot be like that anymore, because now you need to react to what you see and hear the media all the time... I cannot think of the earth without evolution'
'You need to be constantly flexible. What is art today? You can make an animation and put it on YouTube and it can be more important than a museum show!' One can become an antiquarian very quickly Delvoye believes - it being impossible to predict what might be relevant three months from today. 'I was thinking when I was a child if a genie came out of a bottle and offered a crystal ball into my future and said, you are going to have shows in China, and you will sell to people in Yemen or India...I wouldn’t have believe it.'
Wim Delvoye (born 1965 in Wervik, West Flanders) is a Belgian neo-conceptual artist known for his inventive and often shocking projects. Much of his work is focused on the body. He repeatedly links the attractive with the repulsive, creating work that holds within it inherent contradictions – one does not know whether to stare, be seduced, or to look away.[according to whom?] As the critic Robert Enright wrote in the art magazine Border Crossings, "Delvoye is involved in a way of making art that reorients our understanding of how beauty can be created". Wim Delvoye has an eclectic oeuvre, exposing his interest in a range of themes, from bodily function, and scatology to the function of art in the current market economy, and numerous subjects in between. He lives and works in Brighton, UK.
Delvoye is additionally well known for his 'gothic' style work. In 2001, Delvoye, with the help of a radiologist, had several of his friends paint themselves with small amounts of barium, and perform explicit sexual acts in medical X-ray clinics. He then used the X-ray scans to fill gothic window frames instead of classic stained glass. Delvoye suggests that radiography reduces the body to a machine. When he was not an active participant, Delvoye observed from a computer screen in another room, allowing the subjects enough distance to perform normally, although Delvoye has described the whole operation as"very medical, very antiseptic". Delvoye also creates oversized laser-cut steel sculptures of objects typically found in construction (like a cement truck, customized in seventeenth-century Flemish Baroque style. These structures juxtapose"medieval craftsmanship with Gothic filigree". Delvoye brings together the heavy, brute force of contemporary machinery and the delicate craftsmanship associated with Gothic architecture.
In a 2013 show in New York City, Delvoye showed intricate laser-cut works combining architectural and figurative references with shapes such as a Möbius band or a Rorschach inkblot."