Künstlerhaus Stuttgart’s fall program starts with a joint collaboration with Kunststiftung Baden-Württemberg, presenting the first institutional solo exhibition from Brazilian artist Pedro Wirz (born 1981) who is the winner of the Peter-Hans-Hofschneider-Prize 2011, which is awarded every two years by Kunststiftung Baden-Württemberg to foster art academy graduates and young talented artists who have a connection to Stuttgart.
The exhibition Not the New, Not the Old, But the Necessary operates at different levels of conceptual approaches such as abstraction, participation and curation. Wirz continues his series of Curated Sculptures for this exhibition by inviting John Beeson, Giovanni Carmine, Carson Chan and Rebecca Lamarche-Vadel to curate a selection of artworks out of a list of 243 artworks from the artists that Pedro Wirz collaborated in the last four years.
As the main conceptual ground for the show, the traditional art form from Japanese culture, Origami – which is based on folding paper – is used not only as an artistic technique but also as an expression of abstraction in Wirz’s show. Reconsidering the impact of Japanese culture in Brazil, and bringing along his childhood experience with Origami, Wirz aims to create a social network of ideas, images, and practices in the form of an exhibition and an artist book.
Quoting from one of his life-time inspirations, Sol LeWitt, Pedro Wirz crystallizes the fundamental aspect of his methodological strategy. “Irrational thoughts should be followed absolutely and logically.” and “The concept of a work of art may involve the matter of the piece or the process in which it is made.” Wirz investigates the possibilities of exchanging roles and positions in the art world, demanding curiosity to experiment on the basis of the main question: What happens when we shift South to West, artist to curator, and paper to sculpture or vice versa?
Based in Basel, Wirz has been part of the Stuttgart art scene, and contributed to many projects and discussions during his study year at the Art Academy in Stuttgart (Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Stuttgart). Pedro Wirz investigates how collaboration and participation create alternative ways of exhibition making, as well as how collective creativity and the issue of authorship can be balanced for investigating critical forms of experimental processes. Wirz was awarded the prestigious Peter-Hans-Hofschneider-Prize 2011 by jury members: Stefan Heidenreich (Berlin based critic and theoretician), Agnes Märkel (artist and recipient of the Peter-Hans-Hofschneider-Prize 2008) and Adnan Yildiz (artistic director, Künstlerhaus Stuttgart). The Peter-Hans-Hofschneider-Prize kindly provides an exhibition budget, honorarium and the production of a publication by Pedro Wirz. Quote from the jury statement: “Wirz develops an artistic approach that combines diverse practices and an interaction with them, such as performative sculpture, curating, editing, dealing with certain references and questions of art history. His work is characterized by humorous and introspective language. It is powerful because it is not interested in conventional forms of artistic production, but alternative ways of participation and contribution.”