IN SITU: Peter Wächtler – Romulus
M HKA, Antwerp
28 April 2017 - 03 September 2017
The IN SITU programme offers medium-scale monographic exhibitions by significant early- and mid-career artists from around the world. It focuses on the commissioning of new works and foregrounding experimental practices in what is M HKA’s largest and most atypical exhibition space.
Peter Wächtler creates artworks that use elements of fiction and folklore, re-using and adapting common narrations and tale-like structures. Making his art from a variety of handcrafted media, whether sculpture, painting or animation, as well as writing, his work is concerned with introspection, its liability and social consequences. Often containing pathos and irony, but also humour and melancholy, we are unclear if his art might be in part autobiographical, but we could otherwise see that it offers reflections on human subjectivity in all its complication, on the fine line between powerfulness and uselessness.
For his exhibition at M HKA titled Romulus, Wächtler has produced a new set of sculptures of terracotta castles. These homespun buildings sit in the gallery space as indicators of scale, in-between model and sculpture. They also use the perspectives possible in the vast exhibition space with a long-distance recognisability like that seen in a romantic painting or as viewed in the distance from a car traveling alongside the highway. Their character of fortification bears a sense of defensiveness, yet glancing into the emptiness of their courtyards leaves open what exactly is protected by these walls.
Peter Wächtler lives and works in Brussels and Berlin. His recent solo exhibitions include: Peter Wächtler, Schinkel Pavilion (2017); Secrets of a Trumpet, The Renaissance Society, Chicago (2016); Far Out, Chisenhale, London (2016); Peter Wächtler, KIOSK, Ghent (2016); and Peter Wächtler, Westfälischer Kunstverein, Münster (2014). Selected group exhibitions include 6th Moscow Biennial, Moscow (2015); Surround Audience, New Museum Triennial, New York (2015); A Needle Walks into a Haystack, Liverpool Biennial (2014); and Meanwhile... Suddenly and Then, Lyon Biennale (2013). A collection of Wächtler’s texts titled Come On was published by Sternberg Press in 2013.
The animation video Untitled (Rat) by Peter Wächtler is on dislpay on the fifth floor @INBOX.