2023 – installation – wallpaper
Project : Avenir Confisqué – duo exhibition at Kulturfarbrik (LU)
Concept : carte blanche for a wall mounted in situ installation.
Form : wallpaper prints
The fortune teller illustrates the concept of the (non)-ability to see and change the future. She hands us a tarot card which is made visible on the second poster. It represents The Ecosystem of Wicked Problems by Christian Sarkar, which illustrates the extreme complex systems our society is build on and which tend to be opaque, corrupt, oppressing and harmful to the planet and those who dwell on it. The EoWP brilliantly demonstrates the sheer magnitude and mind boggling extend of these interconnected problems.
Not only did I wanted to visualise that creeping feeling of being trapped in a system, that does not work for but against a majority of the people, and that giving in to feelings of resignation and negation, is now more understandable than ever. I also wanted to point out, that easy solutions, often promoted by populist politics, do not exist, and that a extensive and radical systemic change is needed, to pave the way for more just society.
<<Nous faisons partie d’un système qui s’écroule sous le poids de crises diverses et qui ne semble promettre plus rien sauf le pire. La capacité subjective de se projeter positivement dans l’avenir constitue non seulement un pilier indispensable pour le bien-être mental de l’individu mais est aussi outil clé dans la lecture de la société et de ses inégalités.>> JW
Mea Culpa (We Don’t Feel As Bad As We Should)
2023 – installation – Acrylics on wood
Project : No Church In the Wild – group exhibition in Lasauvage (LU)
Concept : carte blanche for in situ installation on the topic of Good and Evil – Heaven and Hell.
Form : panel painting (triptych) painted with acrylics.
Left/right panel : based on the biblical concept of the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse, personifications of 4 major societal challenges are depicted : uneven distribution of resources and capital (Famine), our current financial system (War), environmental pollution (Death) and Néo-colonialism (Conquest).
Central panel : In reference to Martin Luther’s 95 reformatory theses, theses 26 affirmations – drawn from the book Four Horsemen : The Survival Guide by Ross Ashcroft and Mark Braund – present ideas on how fundamental political, economical and societal change could be made possible.
I Already Know How This Will End
2022 – installation – oils on wooden cut outs
Project : Landscapes (initiated and curated by photographer Lynn Theisen in the framework of the 2022 European Capital of Culture.)
Concept : carte blanche for in situ installation.
Form : MDF cut outs painted with oils.
<< Already Know How This Will End explores the notion of eco-anxiety – the ‘generalised sense that the ecological foundations of existence are in the process of collapse’ – and consequently questions our ability and the efforts made by society and politics, to soften the impact of climate change. Environmental doom at our doorstep, the work considers the potential outcome of a collective failure to change our mentalities, our consumption habits and the overall global economical system.>> JW
The Pillars of the Earth
2020 – installation – stained glass
Project : Cercle Cité (LU) – Cecil’s Box
Concept : carte blanche for in situ installation. Collaboration with Belgian stained-glass artist Elora De Pape.
Form : the four glass frames are composed out of 450 pieces of glass that were cut, painted, burned and assembled manually in the esprit of the old tradition that is the art du vitrail.
<< Conceived by Wagener and brought into existence by de Pape, Pillars of the Earth is a take on the current state of the humain condition and the society we live in. It is a reflexion on power, ethics, and defiance in a frightening, distressing and dysfunctional system. Presenting themselves as bright, colourful and transparent but nevertheless highly problematic in their present form, four key elements of the ever so complex structure that is modern day society, are questionned on their integrity, sustainabilty and their over all impact on mankind and the planet. These concepts often appear abstract and futile, but once you see the whole picture, they reveal themselves to be in our image.>> JW
Analysed by Prof.Dr. Catherine LEGLU in Translanguaging, Word and Image, and the Danse Macabre and published in the Journal of Literary Multilingualism