“Salut au monde!”
“I see the cities of the earth and make myself at random a part of them, I am a real Parisian, I am a habitant of Vienna, St. Petersburg, Berlin, Constantinople, I am of Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne, I am of London, Manchester, Bristol, Edinburgh, Limerick, I am of Madrid, Cadiz, Barcelona, Oporto, Lyons, Brussels, Bern, Frankfort, Stuttgart, Turin, Florence;
I belong in Moscow, Cracow, Warsaw, or northward in Christiania or Stockholm, or in Siberian Irkutsk, or in some street in Iceland, I descend upon all those cities, and rise from them again.
I see African and Asiatic towns, I see Algiers, Tripoli, Derne, Mogadore, Timbuctoo, Monrovia, I see the swarms of Pekin, Canton, Benares, Delhi, Calcutta, Tokio, I see Teheran, I see Muscat and Medina and the intervening sands; I see Egypt and the Egyptians, I see the pyramids and obelisks, I see ranks, colors, barbarisms, civilizations, I go among them, I mix indiscriminately, and I salute all the inhabitants of the earth.
Each of us allow’d the eternal purports of the earth, each of us here as divinely as any is here.”
Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
Peter Wüthrich juxtaposes the primary function of books as carriers and transmitters of knowledge and meaning with highly poetic images based on a humanistic view of the world. […]
By transforming accidental passersby –ordinary people the artist happens to meet on the streets of the respective city– into angels with the help of books as wings, the artist takes on the role of God and also answers some fundamental questions about the essence of angels: Are angels of this world? And if so, can they be cosmopolitan? Can angels be considered French or American or German or Asian, or aren’t all angels “Angels of the World”? […]
For Wüthrich, it is the book that transforms mere humans into angels: “The book with its connotations to knowledge, imagination and creativity, metamorphoses itself into ‘angel wings’. I believe that the ‘angel wings’ will bring a special kind of spirit into the mind of the participating people...”
Gérard A. Goodrow, art critic, Cologne.
Excerpt from Here, There and Everywhere. Angels as Mediums in the Work of Peter Wüthrich
b. 1962, Bern, Switzerland
Lives and works in Bern. Since the early 90’s, his art has focused exclusively on the medium of the book. In numerous artistic investigations, from wall pieces and installations to photographs and films, he circumnavigates the obscure object of his desire. Each of these realizations are founded within a profound longing to not take the world simply at face value, but rather to make it the object of a transformational imagination, within which things become illustrations of themselves, and thus images of their own potentially endless possibilities. Since 2000 he is working on the ongoing public project The Angels of the World. Selected exhibitions include: [MARCA] Museum de Arte Contemporanea, Catanzaro, Italy (2013) • Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2013) • SESC Pinheiros, Sao Paulo (2012) • [mac] Musée d’ Art contemporain, Marseille (2012) • Palazzo Zenobio, Venice (2011) • Kunsthalle Mannheim (2011) • Biblioteca Vasconcelos, Mexico City (2009) • University Museum of Art, Massachusetts (2008) • Aichi Museum of Art, Nagoya, Japan (2007) • Fondation pour l’ Art Contemporain Salomon, Annecy, France (2006) • OK Centrum für Gegenwartskunst, Linz (2005) • Kunsthalle Winterthur, Switzerland (2003) • La Chaufferie, Strasbourg (2002) • CGAC, Santiago de Compostela, Spain (2001) • Kunsthalle & Kunstverein Bremerhaven, Rupertinum and Museum der Moderne, Salzburg (2000) • Kunstmuseum Solothurn, Switzerland (2000) • Kunstverein Freiburg, Germany (1999) • Kunsthaus Zürich (1998) • Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt (1998).