Italy - Venice - Peggy Guggenheim Collection - Wim Delvoye06/05/2009
ITALY - VENICE - PEGGY GUGGEHNHEIM COLLECTION - WIM DELVOYE
June 3 - November 22, 2009
From June 3 till November 22, 2009 the Peggy Guggenheim Collection presents Belgian artist Wim Delvoye's latest creation: a stainless steel Gothic Tower constructed, with its ogival windows and its turrets, to rise over the terrace of Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, overlooking the Grand Canal.
Both architecture and ornament, Tower by Delvoye demonstrates not only ethereal majesty and vision but forceful material presence, drawing inspiration from masterpieces of Gothic
architecture such as Notre Dame, Paris, and the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, New York. From a fusion of the sublime with the most advanced capabilities of computer technology, the Gothic style of the Tower unites it with the Romantic paintings of Caspar David Friedrich and Karl Friedrich Schinkel.
Wim Delvoye's artistic practice draws on the notion of the attraction of binary opposites: the
sacred and the profane, the past and the present, the triumph of ornamentation over
functionality. His art thrives on such paradoxes, that also form the basis of Surrealist artistic
practice, combining these components of difference, not always manifest but ever present in his aesthetic. The placement of a Gothic tower in the vicinity of Palazzo Venier dei Leoni's
classicism creates just such a forceful and provocative paradox.
For Wim Delvoye: "While the Renaissance was a world view, the Gothic was a state of mind. The Renaissance was finite epoch lasting half a century before being succeeded by Mannerism. Gothic was an art outside of time. The human eye takes in detail like a stroboscope; glancing over lights and tracery, crockets and finials, it thrills to the joy of the tower's soaring ascent."
Wim Delvoye, Torre, 2009, laser-cut corten steel, variable dimensions, H 983 cm (digital visualization)