Published by Fonds Mercator, 2012
400 pages, hardcover
Texts by Dirk Snauwaert, Olivier Duquenne, Bernard Marcadé, Bart Verschaffel, Adrian Dannatt
Wim Delvoye appropriates and diverts art-historical styles and motifs to sublimate trivial yet unconventional objects, and sometimes even living subjects. His eclectic and subversive practice spans a wide range of media, including drawing, sculpture, and installation; he is perhaps best known for naturalizing tattooed pigs in China, or mechanically replicating the digestive system to produce real feces within exhibition spaces. Constantly oscillating between antagonistic realms, such as the sacred and the profane or the local and the global, he sarcastically confronts the various myths that feed our contemporary society, from religion to science and capitalism, via unexpected hybridizations. Whether twisting Rorschach inkblots into sleek bronze idols or cement trucks into laser-cut-steel neo-Gothic cathedrals, he combines expert craftsmanship with high technology. Delvoye’s ever-shifting, conceptual-adjacent aesthetics further questions the commodification of art by strategically and provocatively eluding any attempt at definitive categorization.