Lois Weinberger

Wild Cage - Ruderalgarten, Sculpture at Joanneumsviertelplatz, 2013

Nature and art, nature and sculpture as well as art and life – these are the areas of tension in which Lois Weinberger has operated since the 1970s. The artist’s concern is the relationship between nature and civilisation, and as an initiator of the debate around the relationship between culture and nature, he has created a poetic, political network.

The Wild Cage, located between the Joanneum Quarter’s two areas of art and nature, confirms Weinberger’s interest in the simple, in the ‘ruderal’, i.e. the wild, the art-less, that which thrives on the edges of paths – its artistic ambition explicit, at the same time. An unworked earth surface with a slightly downwards curve, appears enclosed – on it life emerges, which germinates in this earth or develops through the flight of seeds or birds, in any case, however, as a spontaneous vegetation without human assistance. This surface resembles a nature reserve in the centre of the city. By deliberately ‘leaving untreated’ a section of urban space, Weinberger defines this place as especially worthy of protection, as a platform that bears surprises, a place of insight into the meaning of exclusion and inclusion, of self-definition, of revealing a secret in the regimented, ordered and prescribed setting. This act of not interfering in, of permitting, observing and cherishing the free space created by the artist, in which the actual sculpture can evolve, allows us also to experience the genesis of the work step by step. ‘The work produces an intense, pure, elementary picture, in which nature and art engage in a symbiotic relationship with one another, and which relate to the  location, the Universalmuseum Joanneum,’ Lois Weinberger says.

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