Wim DELVOYE (1965)
Wim Delvoye is a neo-conceptual artist known for his provocative and often shocking installations. He belongs to a generation of revolutionary Flemish artists and his project Cloaca (2000–2007), which has been called the “turd machine”, has made a strong impact on the contemporary art milieu. The installation is a machine that reproduces the process of digesting food, the output a lump of excrement that is then sold as a work of art. In this way Delvoye expresses his interest not only in the status of a work of art in today’s market economy, but also in the body and the way it functions. He often forms a link between the beautiful and the ugly, thereby creating a series of contradictions between attraction and revulsion. In 2010 he exhibited seven tattooed pigs, raised near Beijing, at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MAMAC) in Nice. The pig is presented as a work of art and at the same time as a financial investment. We are fascinated and attracted by the beauty of the designs, but at the same time shocked by the way in which the pigs are treated.
Besides these striking pieces, Delvoye’s work also reflects his national identity, which explores the assumptions of his own culture by embellishing daily life with attractive décors, mixing gothic architecture with objects from everyday life.
Delvoye has been a professional artist since the 1980s and has exhibited his work in a number of famous institutions such as the Louvre, the Centre Pompidou, the Palais des beaux-arts in Brussels, the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (Mamco) in Geneva and the Cantonal Museum of Fine Art in Lausanne.