• Claudia Wieser - Waiting in the Wings, Museo di Villa Croce, Genova 2017 © HenrikBlomqvist - Installation view
  • Claudia Wieser - Waiting in the Wings, Museo di Villa Croce, Genova 2017 © HenrikBlomqvist - Installation view
  • Claudia Wieser - Waiting in the Wings, Museo di Villa Croce, Genova 2017 © HenrikBlomqvist - Installation view
  • Claudia Wieser - Waiting in the Wings, Museo di Villa Croce, Genova 2017 © HenrikBlomqvist - Installation view

Waiting in the Wings è il nome del primo progetto installativo site-specific, in un’istituzione pubblica italiana di Claudia Wieser, giovane artista tedesca. Si tratta di un grande wallpaper situato sulle pareti dello scalone del Museo Villa Croce (Genova). Come consueto nel linguaggio della Wieser, che combina tra loro immagini e riferimenti presi dal mondo dell’arte, del design e dell’architettura, in Waiting in the Wings l’artista mette in relazione visiva delle immagini di antichi capolavori, tratti da vecchie fotografie con i suoi disegni e le sue sculture, a ispirare l’intero progetto è “I, Claudius”, una serie televisiva della BBC, molto popolare degli anni ’70.

Waiting in the Wings da un progetto di Ilaria Bonacossa, assistita dalla curatrice Ginevra D’oria
Claudia Wieser – Waiting in the Wings – Press release 

Simona Squadrito: Waiting in the Wings is your first site-specific installation to be produced for an Italian public museum. It consists of a great wallpaper that was specifically designed for the stairway of Villa Croce. How much did the Italian cultural context affect this work?

Claudia Wieser : There a a few points to mention regarding this question:
first – I am generally interested in the greek and roman antic epoches and its cultural, political and philosophical outputs
secondly – I spent three months in Olevano Romano, near Rome last winter
third – I watched a british television serie about the Roman Empire called “I Claudius” (one chapter gave the title for the show) from the 70ies.
All these events affected the installation in Villa Croce.

S.S: Your work presents a layered approach that focuses deeply on architecture, design and art history. Villa Croce offers a neoclassical setting with interiors with a strong connotation, making it look more like a house-museum rather than a classical gallery space. This differs completely from the idea of the white cube. How did you confront with such an unusual location with such specific features?

C.W: One of my strongest interests in making a show is to create a dialogue between space and the artistic work. I don´t believe in the idea of necessarily presenting an artwork in the most neutral environment (White Cube) so I tried from very early on to open up this neutrality and change the white cube into an atmospheric environment. I am very grateful to sometimes show in a space which has its own history and specific character and difficulties. That allows me to react. In this regard Villa Croce was almost a too ideal space for me and I had to be careful not to fall into the trap of romance and nostalgia – but I really enjoyed to create the work for this space.

Claudia Wieser - Waiting in the Wings, Museo di Villa Croce, Genova 2017 © HenrikBlomqvist - Installation view

Claudia Wieser – Waiting in the Wings, Museo di Villa Croce, Genova 2017 © HenrikBlomqvist – Installation view

S.S: The English expression Waiting in the Wingsas a title for your work suggests an aspect of suspance: to wait for something bigger to happen. To what kind of waiting/expectancy are trying to connect?

C.W: As I mentioned before the title was taken from the BBC TV series “I Claudius”.
Even though this program looks very artifical and theatrical and was made in the 1970s, I think there are elements in it which are timeless and contemporary. I usually use my references mainly on an esthetic level but in this case I wanted to include a political dimension, just as a loose association, about power, repetition and violence, all these things which happened thousands of years ago, which were then commented on in a TV serie from the 1970s and are happening again in our present reality.

S.SWatching images from I Claudius, the BBC TV series that inspired Waiting in the Wings, I cannot but recognize the typical taste that characterized the 1970s: rather than making an accurate historical reconstruction of the Ancient Rome, every scene is imbued of the particular aesthetics of that period of the twentieth century. Our perception of the past is not objective, often resulting in a mixture of different levels of interpretation that are needed to strengthen our very perception of the present time we live. Considering that you often make use of elements that refer to a past imaginary, how does your own research respond to the practice of re-reading history?

C.W: Of course I Claudius is an artifact, and a stylised version of Robert Graves books from the 1930s, an interpretation of certain historical accounts etc. In my wallpaper works, I too, as an artist feel no restraint in plundering the historical and or the contemporary bank of images to create my visual comment and interpretation in this the 21stC. On purpose I am using material which is not only referring to the actual time of the displayed artefact but is also influenced by the view of the photographer (or filmmaker) and its time.

Claudia Wieser - Waiting in the Wings, Museo di Villa Croce, Genova 2017 © HenrikBlomqvist

Claudia Wieser – Waiting in the Wings, Museo di Villa Croce, Genova 2017 © HenrikBlomqvist

Claudia Wieser - Waiting in the Wings, Museo di Villa Croce, Genova 2017 © HenrikBlomqvist - Installation view

Claudia Wieser – Waiting in the Wings, Museo di Villa Croce, Genova 2017 © HenrikBlomqvist – Installation view