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Indepth Arts News:

"Lustwarande 08 - Wanderland"
2008-06-28 until 2008-09-28
Fundament Foundation
Tilburg, , NL Netherlands

From June 28 til September 28, 2008 Fundament Foundation in Tilburg is presenting Lustwarande 08 - Wanderland, the third edition of the international exhibition Lustwarande, in the setting of the Baroque pleasure-garden De Oude Warande in Tilburg, The Netherlands. Lustwarande 08 - Wanderland will show recent developments in international sculpture, with an emphasis on the ephemeral and the grotesque. These works will combine with the labyrinthine character of the Baroque pleasure garden to create a surrealist "wanderland", a contemporary synthesis of Alice's Wonderland and the garden of Bomarzo. 

Twenty-seven artists from thirteen countries are taking part in Lustwarande 08 - Wanderland. Most of the artists have created new work for the exhibition. Many of them have never previously exhibited work in the Netherlands.

David Altmejd (CDN/USA)        
                       Gereon Krebber (D)
David Bade (NL)
Skafte Kuhn (D)
Miroslaw Bałka (PL)
Paul McCarthy (USA)
Caroline Coolen (B)
Jonathan Meese (D)
José Damasceno (BR)
Renato Nicolodi (B)
Bart van Dijck (B)                    
                           Michael Nitsche (D)
Laura Ford (GB)
Vincent Olinet (F/B)
Brian Griffiths (GB)
André Pielage (NL)
Subodh Gupta (IND)
Jens Pfeifer (E/NL)
Jeppe Hein (DK/D)
Jon Pylypchuk (CDN/USA)
Lothar Hempel (D)
Ryan Trecartin &
John Isaacs (GB/D)
Lizzie Fitch (USA)
Ham Jin (ROK)
Erwin Wurm (A)
Maartje Korstanje (NL)

Curator: Chris Driessen

De Oude Warande

De Oude Warande in Tilburg is a Baroque woodland. Diagonal and crosswise avenues cut through the square wood and meet in the centre to form a circle. Each of the four quadrants has its own system of avenues with a different geometric shape: a diamond, an octagon, a square and a circle. This complex pattern of avenues has the character of a labyrinth. De Oude Warande owes its name to the obsolete word Œwarande‚, and is derived from the French "varenne", meaning a hunting enclosure or pleasure garden.

De Oude Warande was laid out in 1712 for the German prince Wilhelm von Hessen-Kassel (Wilhelm VIII), who was at that time lord of the manor of Tilburg and Goirle. Wilhelm VIII had De Oude Warande created as a modest woodland park for hunting and pleasure that was intended to serve a newly constructed castle. Landscaped pleasure gardens of this kind were usually decorated with mythical sculptures, grottos, fountains and ponds, which provided a setting for fêtes galantes. However, no traces of statues have been found at De Oude Warande.

De Oude Warande passed through a number of private owners before becoming the property of the city council of Tilburg in 1952. De Oude Warande is an important piece of our cultural heritage; it is the best-preserved Baroque wood in the Netherlands and the country's only "sterrenbos", or "star forest", so named for the layout of the avenues.


Since 2000 De Oude Warande is the stage for an international exhibition every four years, Lustwarande. Lustwarande ˆ Pleasure Garden (2000) was primarily conceived as a contemporary interpretation of a Baroque sculpture garden, with new and existing works by artists including Louise Bourgeois, Cai Guo Qiang, Jan Fabre, Lee Bul, Michelangelo Pistoletto and Franz West. The focus of the second exhibition, Lustwarande 04 ˆ Disorientation by Beauty, was mainly on the relationship between the labyrinthine character of De Oude Warande and its disorienting effect, which may give rise to (unorthodox) expressions of beauty. With contributions by artists including Wim Delvoye, Elmgreen & Dragset, Luciano Fabro, Anish Kapoor, Ernesto Neto and Ugo Rondinone, Lustwarande 04 delivered convincing proof that Lustwarande had more than enough vigour to grow into an exhibition of international stature.

Lustwarande 08 ˆ Wanderland will feature recent developments in contemporary sculpture, and will have a particular focus on the increasingly ephemeral nature of the sculpture‚s skin and on the growing desire to give expression to the grotesque.

Lustwarande 08 - Wanderland is designed primarily as a celebration of contemporary sculpture, which, after a decade of almost complete absence from the large international exhibitions, has now once again stepped onto the international stage, most emphatically and with considerable élan. This renewed focus on sculpture is universally apparent, and at the same time a new generation of artists has discovered the possibilities of this genre, injecting it with a compelling force, expressed in the skin of the sculpture, in the use of everyday, less durable materials, and in an endless fusion of traditionally acquired means of expression, frequently tending towards the grotesque.

Of course, the use of short-lived materials in sculpture is not new. Over forty-five years ago, Beuys introduced the use of chocolate, felt and fat into sculpture and many of the works produced by the Arte Povera movement consisted partially or entirely of materials that did not last. Their contemporary successors often combine the use of perishable materials with a distortion of reality, often in an anthropomorphic form, ranging from coarse cartoons to grotesque horror. This is contrasted by a formal language that expands upon the achievements of Minimal Art, but which is almost organic and highly alluring at the same time, inviting the viewer to touch, but also indicating that it may well be poisonous, or art that is inoffensive and anecdotal, not monumental, but detached, observing and commenting from the margins, almost indistinguishable from rubbish on the roadside. The figurative and the formal, abomination and expressions of beauty, bronze and polyurethane, the monumental and the reduction of the material merge to form an eclectic whole. Contemporary sculpture plays on the senses of the viewer, requiring the eyes to smell, the nose to hear and the ears to see. And the mind, in particular, requires sustenance, needs to eat. The senses are stimulated to the extreme, but the desire that is created is not satisfied. The landscape of contemporary sculpture is rarely overeager to please and offers practically no comfort, but grants the viewer a look into the visual translation of modern deconstructed layers of reality, evoking associations with Alice‚s wonderland and with the Renaissance gardens of Bomarzo. At the same time, this sculpture forces upon viewers the idea that they have permanently lost their way within the present, and that the apocalypse is in sight, whether that implies the end of days or represents the way out of Plato‚s cave.

Lustwarande 08 - Wanderland aims to offer the viewer a disturbing trip through the landscape of contemporary sculpture, with the Baroque layout of De Oude Warande once again forming the disorientating backdrop for the exhibition.

De Pont project space

As in the 2004 exhibition, the project space at Museum De Pont in Tilburg will serve as an extra venue for Lustwarande 08. Work by David Altmejd (CAN/USA) will be on display here until 31 August.

Wanderlust publication

Wanderlust - excursions in contemporary sculpture will be published to coincide with Lustwarande 08 - Wanderland. This publication features documentation of all three editions of Lustwarande, accompanied by essays written by Chris Driessen, Robbert Roos and Sally O‚Reilly on the shifting contours in sculpture during the last ten years. The book has 212 pages and the texts are in Dutch and English. Date of publication: July 15.

Subodh Gupta
27 Light Years

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