toronto

Robert Wiens

Carmen Lamanna Gallery

Sculptor Robert Wiens is more of a polemicist than a poet. His work is about the big political subjects—torture, censorship, militarism, poverty. But Wiens is canny about his political content. He knows that the topicality of such subjects can seem like headline hunting, borrowing emotion and misfortune that often have little to do with the work itself. It’s a problem of safe worlds looking at sad worlds—of authenticity—and Wiens is careful to account for his place and his projections in the midst of the larger political realm. This gives his work its moral tone. He brings the headlines back into a context of. North American reception, back into a framework of shared responsibility, implicating both himself and his audience in the subject matter at hand.

Wiens accomplishes this pivoting of focus by working in a way that diminishes the scale of the work’s political voice. He has frequently

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