artist / participant
Born in Tyrol in 1947, Lois Weinberger is an unusual artist in many ways. Despite his considerable success, such as participating in documenta X and the Venice Biennale in 2009, he remains true to his role as an outsider in the art business—someone who does not conform to the customary way of doing things, but instead chooses his own path.
A crucial element of Weinberger's work is his external perspective, which is informed by his affinity to wild plants that quickly grow on disturbed or abandoned plots of land and his close relationship with nature. This is not to be understood as escaping from civilization, but instead as a critical way of encountering it. At the same time, Weinberger's work also explores the meaning of concepts such as nature, culture, order, or chaos. This point of view becomes particularly clear in his Wild Cubes: steel cages that enclose nothing, but rather humanity is being locked out. Weinberger gives wilderness space; he breaks free of the urban and questions man's ubiquitous striving for complete control. The concept of nature does not necessarily have to be the opposite of culture; Weinberger shows us where nature and culture come into contact, while also making evident the boundaries between these two concepts.
Although at first glance specific materials and localities appear to be in the foreground in Weinberger's works, they can also be looked at as ecological and social metaphors. While artistic creation is traditionally given a place of honor, Weinberger assigns importance to uncontrolled growth. His method of work is thus systematically different from that found in conventional artistic production. He does not create paintings or sculptures; instead he creates spaces which can develop on their own, or exhibits documentations of real-world situations that confront the viewer with fundamental political and philosophical questions.
From a historical perspective, the museum—and also the artist's workshop—function as a protected space in which the representation of the world can be negotiated from a safe distance. However, Weinberger's work follows other rules. He steps directly into the outside world and brings the uncontrolled into the exhibition, in order to debunk and counteract the exaggerated total shaping of the world. He impressively counters the general fear of losing control with the diversity and freedom of wild growth.
Curated by: Thomas D. Trummer; Co-Curator Samuel Fath