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58th Venice Biennale: May You Live In Interesting Times Ocula Report 58th Venice Biennale: May You Live In Interesting Times 24 May 2019 : Mohammad Salemy for Ocula

The 58th Venice Biennale, May You Live In Interesting Times (11 May–24 November 2019), certainly benefitted from low expectations, given the lacklustre curatorial of the previous edition, when different segments of the show were conceptually framed with titles like 'Pavilion of Joys and Fears' and 'Pavilion of Colours'. Add to this the...

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Zheng Bo Ocula Conversation Zheng Bo

Hong Kong-based artist Zheng Bo's social, ecological, and community-engaged art practice has, in recent years, focused on moving beyond a human-centred perspective to an all-inclusive, multi-species approach. He takes up marginalised plants and communities of people as subjects in his large-scale interventions, which reintroduce wildness into...

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Auckland Art Fair 2019: Conversations Extended Ocula Report Auckland Art Fair 2019: Conversations Extended 24 May 2019 : Sherry Paik for Ocula

The weather was clement for the annual Auckland Art Fair (2–5 May 2019), which was again at The Cloud on Queens Wharf. This year's edition was a get-together of 41 galleries, mostly from around Auckland and across New Zealand, with 5 spaces hailing from Sydney and the rest from Cook Islands (Bergman Gallery), Hobart (Michael Bugelli Gallery),...

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Wim Delvoye

b. 1965, Belgium

Moving between the sacred and the profane, inflections of gothic drama and high technology imbue artist Wim Delvoye’s drawings, sculptures, and installations. He frequently swings from fine art to the decorative, applying Belgian ornamental elements such as coats of arms or porcelain patterns to objects such as shovels, ironing boards, or—in Gas Cannisters (1988)—a collection of white cannisters embellished with blue and white pictorial scenes, reminiscent of Delftware.

Over the years, the decorative has swung to the downright outrageous, with Delvoye realising baffling concepts on a broadening scale. The artist is perhaps most well known for his complex installation Cloaca, a machine that has been reconstructed in multiple iterations since 2000, that is 'fed' food, replicating the human digestive process to create faeces. The mechanical organ has been pampered throughout its museum tours, attended to by local caterers during its run at Casino Luxembourg–Forum d'art Contemporain (30 September 2007–6 January 2008), and fed by Lyonnais chefs during a stint in the French capital of gastronomy in 2003—efforts that contradict its futile production: a visual manifestation that supports the artist's infamous statement that 'all art is useless'.

Other provocative works include his Sex-Rays (2002)—a series of x-rays of people performing sexual acts—and tattooed pigs, for which he began with tanned skins and graduated with a full-scale Art Farm of live, decorated pigs outside of Beijing. Established in 2004, the farm ran until 2010 in a country the artist claims as more accepting of his practice. From the Louis Vuitton monogram to skulls, hearts, and crosses, the pigs—who were sedated and lathered in Vaseline before having their hides gilded—were purchased while still alive by collectors who procured the skins once the animals died of old age.

Delvoye continues to exhibit around the world, from China to Iran—where a retrospective of his work at the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art in 2016 marked the first time since the revolution that work by a non-Iranian artist was shown in the country. Between 9 November 2018 and 9 February 2019, Gary Tatinstian Gallery in Moscow presented embossed, cut, and twisted objects that employ neo-Gothic tracery and Middle Eastern designs, as in the case of the late-1950s' Maserati 450S racing car for which the artist invited Iranian artists to create its intricate patterns. Also on view is the tattooed pig Sylvie (2006), looking out from a glass case on a plinth with beady black eyes; and a set of three bicycle tyres, twisted into the Mobius puzzle, thus rendering them ineffective.

Tessa Moldan | Ocula | 2019

Featured Artworks

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Flatbed Trailer by Wim Delvoye contemporary artwork Wim DelvoyeFlatbed Trailer, 2014 Laser-cut stainless steel
50 x 308 x 48 cm
Gary Tatintsian Gallery
Twisted Dumptruck (CW) by Wim Delvoye contemporary artwork Wim DelvoyeTwisted Dumptruck (CW), 2013 Laser-cut stainless steel
95 x 200 x 83 cm
Gary Tatintsian Gallery
Dumptruck by Wim Delvoye contemporary artwork Wim DelvoyeDumptruck, 2012 Laser-cut stainless steel
56 x 117 x 38 cm
Gary Tatintsian Gallery
Concrete Mixer (Delft) by Wim Delvoye contemporary artwork Wim DelvoyeConcrete Mixer (Delft), 1993 Carved wood and enamel paint
146 x 168 x 74 cm
rodolphe janssen
Twisted Dumptruck (CCW) by Wim Delvoye contemporary artwork Wim DelvoyeTwisted Dumptruck (CCW), 2013 Laser-cut stainless steel
95 x 185 x 87 cm
Gary Tatintsian Gallery
Suppo (Karmanyaka) by Wim Delvoye contemporary artwork Wim DelvoyeSuppo (Karmanyaka), 2012 Nickeled bronze
164 x 61 x 51 cm
Perrotin
Sans titre (Dessin preparatoire pour tatouage) by Wim Delvoye contemporary artwork Wim DelvoyeSans titre (Dessin preparatoire pour tatouage), 2006 Techniques mixtes
73 x 50 cm
rodolphe janssen
Twisted Dump Truck Clocwise (scale model 1:5) by Wim Delvoye contemporary artwork Wim DelvoyeTwisted Dump Truck Clocwise (scale model 1:5), 2011 Nickled lasercut stainless steel
200 x 80 x 78 cm
rodolphe janssen

Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Wim Delvoye, Wim Delvoye at Gary Tatintsian Gallery, Moscow
Closed
9 November 2018–9 February 2019 Wim Delvoye Wim Delvoye Gary Tatintsian Gallery, Moscow
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Summer Gallery Highlights at Perrotin, Hong Kong
Closed
21 July–8 September 2018 Group Exhibition Summer Gallery Highlights Perrotin, Hong Kong
Contemporary art exhibition, Wim Delvoye, Solo Exhibition at Perrotin, New York
Closed
9 September–28 October 2017 Wim Delvoye Solo Exhibition Perrotin, New York

Represented By

In Ocula Magazine

Wim Delvoye on his art, censorship and the future Ocula Insight Wim Delvoye on his art, censorship and the future 7 February 2019

At 53, Belgian artist Wim Delvoye continues to employ the shock factor with abandon. Moving between the sacred and the profane, inflections of gothic drama and high technology imbue the artist's drawings, sculptures, and installations. He frequently swings from fine art to the decorative, applying Belgian ornamental elements such as coats of arms...

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Perrotin Shanghai Opening: Emmanuel Perrotin & Wim Delvoye Ocula Insight Perrotin Shanghai Opening: Emmanuel Perrotin & Wim Delvoye 15 November 2018

Since starting a gallery in his apartment at the age of 21, French gallerist Emmanuel Perrotin has become well known for his embracing of pop culture and high art. Perrotin is credited with contributing to the rise of Takashi Murakami's global fame, having been the first to show his work outside of Japan in 1993, and was also an early supporter of...

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In Related Press

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Art Basel Week 2017: What to See Related Press Art Basel Week 2017: What to See Whitewall : 16 June 2017

Outside of the fairs this week, don't miss the exhibitions on view at Basel's tops museums and institutions, including Wolfgang Tillmans, Wim Delvoye, Jérôme Zonder, Yan Xing and Richard Serra, amongst others.

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Interview: Wim Delvoye digests the Tinguely Museum Related Press Interview: Wim Delvoye digests the Tinguely Museum The Art Newspaper : 15 June 2017

The Belgian artist Wim Delvoye is showing his inventive, innovative and occasionally controversial works in his first Swiss retrospective at the Museum Tinguely (14 June–1 January 2018). The exhibition, organised in collaboration with the Mudam, Luxembourg's museum of Modern art, highlights how, since the late 1980s, Delvoye has combined the...

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‘The Cloaca are machines, they’re animals, they’re us’ Related Press ‘The Cloaca are machines, they’re animals, they’re us’ Apollo Magazine : 29 May 2017

On the eve of a major retrospective of his work at the Museum Tinguely, Basel, the Belgian artist Wim Delvoye talks to Apollo about merde-making machines, mass production, and the messy future of Europe.

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Preview: Art Brussels Related Press Preview: Art Brussels Elephant : 19 April 2017

'Art Brussels believes in galleries that support their artists throughout their evolution... We are definitely not interested in showing work in a supermarket-like style.' We speak with Anne Vierstraete, Managing Director of Art Brussels, as the fair nears its thirty-fifth edition.

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In Related Video

Wim Delvoye: This Shit is Art Related Video & Audio Wim Delvoye: This Shit is Art Louisiana Channel : 15 February 2018

Wim Delvoye was interviewed by Rasmus Quistgaard at Herning Museum of Contemporary Art in Herning, Denmark in April 2017.

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