Exhibition René Wiroth at the Villers- Bettnach Abbey
Entering the chapel you must have thought, “Oh look, they have associated three artists who are finally dialoging with among themselves!” Not at all, all of this is Wiroth! Every creator in the end turns around three major ideas in his work, just as our most important choices turn around three essential questions: Where do we come from? Who are we? Where are we going?
But it isn’t these metaphysical questions which René Wiroth asks. His preoccupations turn rather toward these three others: What is my place in this world? How can I justify my right to a life? What is the use of my art?
Constantly aware of the small size and ephemeral character of our presence in this very mysterious cosmos, of the difficulty for each of us to live in harmony with this most generous nature, of the complexity of human relationships in our personal history so different and yet so similar, with this need and this ignorance of the other and this thirst for equilibrium which translates itself in many of his work, he tries to escape the confinement which menaces us in this society where everyone is out for himself -- ‘come what may’ -- by creating.
If you look at the installation which is in front of your eyes, you can decipher the preoccupations which are his. A world of personages molded on living bodies, prostrate figures, enclosed, perhaps protected in their shell white as snow, disposed in a circle which one might think would favor communication … But no, each is isolated in his personal world, in his banal and quotidian preoccupations. One, planted there, hands on hips, cloistered in his certitudes. Does he communicate with his neighbor, hands in pockets, indifferent to his surroundings? And this other plunged in his newspaper, who will dictate to him how he should think? And this woman who seeks comfort in her cigarette, which serves as company in her solitude, next to the famous artist Christian Zeimert, seated on his “Decline” as he says with so much humor, playing on the blue of Yves Klein as he manipulates every certitude.
These acrobats of life, who seem to want to fly towards the stars, frozen in flight, like blue Icarus that you see in the chapel’s chancel, with the illusion of escaping this grotesque reality which the media shows us all through the evening… These personages in the choir with their birds’ beaks, whose desire to metamorphose in order to melt in nature, that we take pleasure in destroying, could not and cannot be strong enough to make them sprout wings… And these bronzes, which translate this desire of fusion with the other, abstract couples, one with the profile of a liana, the other so fused that one immediately sees only a single personage, other, more slender, in quest of tenderness… This woman posed there, hair in the wind, and this other titled “Three-dimensional Jocund” despite the absence of the enigmatic smile immortalized by Leonardo Da Vinci… What do they dream of? And finally, in support of my remarks on the questions which haunt him, “The Three-headed One” a self-portrait perhaps of the mind of René Wiroth which illustrate better than my words, so disparate as it may seem, the unity of this exhibition, or rather this meditation in three dimensions.
This naturally left-handed person who is René Wiroth has a true vision of art. He firmly believes that art will change the world and make it better. He goes so far as to sometimes say, “Tell me how many human lives you have saved and I will tell you the artist that you are.” A total idealist who thinks that the vast field of creation must be labored to be projected into the future, to create a liaison between man and nature, to reestablish this equilibrium that we try so hard to destroy. He fought almost ten years ago with his different exhibitions entitled “The Iron Cathedrals” for the factories condemned to be definitively destroyed or sold in China to be reutilized as cultural centers. He took a stand in his exhibition “In your garbage we have found our treasures” against the destruction of objects considered as obsolete and destined to be compacted. He stood for solidarity in the works named “Save love not money.” He took a serious part as commissioner of the exhibition “The World of two hands” at the Neumunster Abbey Cultural Meeting Center in Luxembourg to rehabilitate the left-handed world discriminated against during centuries and to fight for a world less unilateral where all forms of sensitivity and of culture find their place.
René Wiroth is not a man of speeches. To communicate that which is in his heart he uses sculpture, music, performances art for installations of plaster on live bodies earning. Ten years ago, his work earned the Medal of European Merit for his social commitment, medal which has been given by his request to the meeting place of Quart Monde in Luxembourg.
You must discover him.
Michèle Frank May 9, 2008