middleheim

Wim Delvoye

Middleheim Museum

If there can be said to be such a thing as a Belgian attitude in art, Wim Delvoye embodies it perfectly: without becoming anecdotal or regional, his work addresses things that are rotten in the state of Belgium. Delvoye transforms the surrounding environment into a sardonic fairy tale, endowing familiar objects (such as ironing boards, tennis rackets, carpets), and clichés or obsolete proverbs (like “home sweet home”) with an entirely new identity.

His latest exhibition was his most extreme so far; in fact, it triggered a polemical discussion about the ethical aspects of his artmaking, as well as of contemporary art in general. In a piece about the colonization of nature through culture, he tattooed four pigs with designs and walked them around the museum like living readymades. Anticipating criticism that might be directed toward this work by animal rights activists, Delvoye took careful

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