Markus Wilfling

1966 Innsbruck, lives and works in Graz, Vienna and Leibnitz

In 1988–1989 Wilfling attended Gerhard Lojen’s master class at the Ortweinschule Graz. In 1989–1993 he studied sculpture under Bruno Gironcoli at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna.

Combining sculpture and design and constructing sculptures with the utility value of furniture has been an ongoing trend since the 1980s. “Site specifity”, creating works for a specific site, becomes one of his most important production methods. Markus Wilfling prefers to use everyday objects and their initially unspectacular appearances. By using mirrors and shadows, he refocuses our gaze on objects easily “overlooked” in everyday life by undermining our accustomed perceptions.

Wilfling’s works are based on a close scrutiny of their optical qualities. Phenomena of the world of objects are transposed to an artistic level. He turns everyday situations into ambivalent ones, consciously avoiding any semblance of enactment. Ordinary circumstances are transformed into aesthetic ones, for example in his shadow objects. The Uhrturmschatten (clocktower shadow) in Graz was the art work that made him famous – he installed this object on the Schlossberg hill in Graz during the city’s year as cultural capital in 2003. He added a shadow to the city’s most famous landmark so as to draw attention to the dark chapters in the history of Graz. Today the object is located outside Shopping City Seiersberg.

His work also features mirror objects, the Contours of Emptiness and other shadow objects. Markus Wilfling also conceives projects for public space, for example his project Someone is visiting Graz, in which he placed a half-open coffin on the bank of the river Mur, or his basketball basket and basketball installed on the Kunsthaus building site. The artist also carries out projects in collaboration with St Andrew’s Church, for example the Diving-board for a Space, a glass window inlaid in a church window, or a swing that remained in the church as a permanent art work.

Wilfling received a working scholarship in 1999 under the Styrian Scholarship for Contemporary Fine Arts. In 2001 he was awarded the Styria Province Scholarship and in 2003 he received the Art Prize of the Graz-Seckau Diocese. The artist’s works were exhibited at the Graphic Design Biennial of Udine in 1995, at the Austrian Cultural Institute in London in 1998, and at Vienna’s Künstlerhaus in 2004.