The Musée d’art et d’histoire de Genève (MAH) presents the fourth XL exhibition, this time with the Belgian artist Wim Delvoye from 26 January to 16 June 2024.
For its fourth Open Invitation exhibition, the MAH invited Wim Delvoye, an artist internationally known for his ability to surprise, provoke and joyfully disrupt our comfortable certitudes and reassuring assumptions that structure our relationship with the world. Wim Delvoye has established himself as a unique visual artist with the capacity to introduce new objects and practices into the art world. He ties his artistic approach to societal and media trends that enliven our daily lives, creating work that immediately becomes iconic.
Wim Delvoye was born in 1965 in Wervik, in the West Flanders province of Belgium. While his creative approach is at times aligned with conceptual art and Belgian surrealism, his artistic expressions remain unique. The Belgian artist is an avid collector, an impassioned scavenger, a seeker of the unexpected and a visual artist with a scathing sense of humor. Delvoye is passionate about objects and especially the boundaries between artworks and everyday objects. By blurring these boundaries, he challenges traditional perceptions of objects, pushing the limits of our understanding of things. His work revolves around tearing one thing from its primary logic, stripping an object of its original context and transplanting it in a quasi-magical manner to another context of reality.
Delvoye’s friendship with Marc-Olivier Wahler, Director of MAH, dates back to their time in New York in the 2000s. As European expatriates, they explored exhibitions, museums and various institutions together while considering the particularities of their Swiss and Belgian cultures in the American melting pot. When the XL Open Invitation Exhibitions took root, Wahler naturally thought of Delvoye’s ability to reinterpret entire chapters of art history and culture through his artistic practice, particularly when that history was as clearly anchored in a region and place as the one conserved by the MAH.
The Order of Things
As the name of his exhibition suggests, Delvoye challenges «the order of things” by breaking traditional and fixed views of everyday objects. His exhibition promotes the free association of ideas and feelings by tearing away from the original context of objects, providing the opportunity for new and original resonances. The objects are then able to be understood in a new light. Delvoye’s approach promotes what Marc-Olivier Wahler refers to as “schizophrenic quotient” of an artwork: its capacity to present multiple and simultaneous interpretations. Delvoye’s creative expressions is manifested in the diverse artifacts showcased in the museum’s different rooms. Pieces from the museum’s collection engage in a game of reflection and contrast with pieces by Delvoye himself.
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Further impressions of Wim Delvoye’s art exhibition «Order of Things»: