Pedro Wirz

Egg Stories - Pedro Wirz interview

Issue no3
juni / juli 2019
Brussel / Bruxelles

One of his egg scuptures is presented on the cover of Metropolis M No2-2019 Magisch realisme. Talking to Pedro Wirz about his love for the egg.

—Domeniek Ruyters Could you tell us how this idea started. There was one egg first I guess, or did you immediately have a series in mind?

—Pedro Wirz The series started back in 2016, when I was invited by Benedikt Wyss and Demian Wohler to be part of the HOUSE 99 Project, based in Basel. They had access to a house before its demolition and invited a couple of artist to live and work there – we were all given a room in which we were basically able to do whatever we wanted, à la Matta-Clark. I had the idea of creating something new out of the debris of something old and this is how the idea of creating eggs was born. As I sculpted a nest of four eggs, about to hatch, the piece was a series from the very beginning.

—Domeniek Ruyters What does the egg mean for you?

—Pedro Wirz I understand myself as a sculptor and therefore I am interested in form and the presence of its volume in space. To me the egg form is incredibly beautiful and I am also fascinated by the mythological and scientific meaning it possesses. My parents are biologists and agronomists and I grew up on a farm in the countryside in this very particular region of Brazil: the Paraiba Valley. Folklores, passed through generations, are still very present there and part of everyday life. As such, I see the egg as a metaphor to new possibilities and a different/future reality. And eggs are beautiful don’t you think? However besides the curiosity and imagination they hold, I am intrigued about what may grow out of them.

—Domeniek Ruyters Why do they all have such a tactile skin. They are quite expressive for that reason, almost painterly. What do you like to express? No egg is similar, still they are familiar.

—Pedro Wirz Beauty lays in the variety of species – biodiversity is essential! The eggs I create are assembles of cultural debris and organic material, mixed with a natural as well as a chemical binder: latex and acrylic. They are all different - as ethnicities or as cultures - yet they clearly reveal the same "alphabet", they have the same origin and belong to the same family. I think this is also the core of my work: variety should be understood as a powerful aspect of existence.

—Domeniek Ruyters It must not have been easy to find a way to exhibit them, was it? The frame that you use seems to suggest you take them in your hand.

—Pedro Wirz Very true. There was much discussion about it. But I think this is always the case in my practice – the presentation is such a crucial part of my work and I experiment a lot. Over the years I exhibited the eggs in different ways, but I think that the simplest and most direct presentation is also the best: I use a very thin ring on a rod, almost invisible, inserted into the wall. In this way, one can give the full attention to the object itself and experience its dimensionality.

Variety should be understood as a powerful aspect of existence

Pedro Wirz, An Egg for an Eye - Seda

Pedro Wirz, An Egg for an Eye - America

—Doemniek Ruyters How does the egg relate to your other work? Myths are more often a source of inspiration, it seems.

—Pedro Wirz Well, I started doing the eggs, followed by the cocoons and nests now I am doing houses (from non-ration to rational architecture). Often, but not always, one work leads to another. Ideas and concepts occur organically. I learn a lot from the works I create, I allow them to teach me. However, I also allow unpredictable ideas to take form in the studio – I never interrupt them from happening, even if they are not making sense at first. I embrace these moments, in which I allow ideas to grow; I always learn something new and different. For my current show at Kunsthaus Langenthal, I created two completely new pieces, which are presented in a totally new framing device. I am very happy about them!

—Domeniek Ruyters Does the one from the cover of Metropolis M No 2-2019 has a story behind it? The egg as an eye?

—Pedro Wirz As a matter of fact the egg on the cover has a very particular story behind it! Not only do I let my instinct lead the production of my work, I also allow it to guide my live and, every so often, make seemingly mundane decisions. Some years ago, I was walking around London with an ex girlfriend and saw a pile of trash. So I checked it out and found very beautiful and small scissors with a curved tip. Something told me to take the scissors with me, but my friend intervened and said no - I was an adult and should not collect things from the street - I did the contrary of course. Later I was in the studio thinking about all the "exuviae" (sloughed off natural animal coverings) I used to collect it with my father and was thinking about how I could include it into my work. In the same moment I spotted the scissors and on of the eggs at the same time and the answer came very easily - I started doing some eggs with wholes - let the impression they were not longer occupied and that was only the remaining empty "shell". Actually I didn't realize the thing with the eye... I guess it is more of a print thing.

Metropolis M Nr 2-2019 - Magisch Realisme + gratis Venice Biennale Guide. Nu in de winkel of bestel. Als je nu een jaarabonnement afsluit sturen we je dit nummer gratis op. Mail je naam en adres naar [email protected] (ovv Nr 2)

Domeniek Ruyters
is hoofdredacteur van Metropolis M

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