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Wallinger stars in Aarau: Mark Wallinger--winner of the 2007 Turner Prize--shows his most important recent works in a large-scale survey exhibition at the Aargauer Kunsthaus in Aarau.

London artist Mark Wallinger (born in 1959) is one of Britain's most famous international artists, not least since his impressive contribution at the 2001 Venice Biennale. Through his work, Wallinger intelligently, and somewhat humorously, explores current social issues. Using a plethora of media, he focuses on matters that are relevant worldwide--religion, politics and cultural identity.

Wallinger belongs to the generation of British artists who created a stir on the international art scene in the 1990s under the heading "Young British Artists". Yet unlike others in this loosely knit group, Wallinger's artistic idiom is brimming with astute incongruity; fleeting, provocative gestures are not his thing.


The large presentation at the Aargauer Kunsthaus highlights Wallinger's flexibility with various media--painting, installation, film, photography, object and performance--and the diversity of his themes. The exhibition was conceived as a survey and embraces about 25 works.

These range from older works like Passport Control (1988) and the monumental installation Forever and Ever (2002) to his latest room installation Human Figure in Space (2007), which has so far never been shown in Europe. This show, therefore, is the first in quite a while to provide a broad overview of the work of this internationally renowned artist at a Swiss museum. Wallinger says of himself that he "prefers to deal with the world as it is, than with the question of what art is'; which is seen in his installation State Britain (2007).


This monumental work o plays a major role in the Aarau exhibition. It is a meticulous recreation of a more than 40-metre-long display erected in front of the Houses of Parliament in London in 2001 by British peace activist Brian Haw to protest against British involvement in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. In 2007, the British government prohibited demonstrations in the parliament district of London and had the display dismantled.


Mark Wallinger filtered this vivid expression of public opinion into the museum context through this precise recreation, thereby securing its survival. What is no longer tolerated in the public domain, reaches an audience in the museum, where it can be discussed. In light of this work, Wallinger was awarded the Turner Prize, among other accolades, in December 2007.

More information

Artist's Edition: Mark Wallinger's Still life (detail), 2008. Artificial Rose (cloth). Limited edition of 30 numbered and signed examples. Edition Aargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau. Cost is SFr 550.

Catalogue: An English catalogue is available at the museum shop. It complements the comprehensive 2000 monograph on Mark Wallinger (Tate Liverpool) and focuses on the works of the last ten years. It costs SFr 60 (40 euros).

Guided tours in English: Sunday, November 16, at 11:00

Guides tours for groups: Booked in English at through 062 835 23 39

Opening hours for the Aargauer Kunsthaus Tuesday-Sunday: 10:00-17:00 Thursday: 10:00-20:00

For more information: www.aargauerku
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Title Annotation:EXHIBITION
Publication:Swiss News
Date:Oct 1, 2008
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