Wolfgang Laib, Ailleurs - La chambre des certitudes, 1997, Beeswax and wood
Innenmaß 324 x 78-120 x 485 cm
The Buchmann Galerie is delighted to present a Wax Room by Wolfgang Laib at the Gallery Weekend Berlin 2014.
To date, the artist has made only three of these free-standing Wax Rooms, and rarely do you get the opportunity to actually see and experience one.
The outside of the white cube, which is covered in plasterwork, gives no indication of the interior shape. A narrow passageway leads into the chamber, where one is surrounded by fragrant, golden-yellow beeswax. The sensuous and physical presence of the room, which is completely covered in slabs of beeswax up to 5 cm thick, is exceptionally concentrated. For this fleeting moment in time the external world seems to disappear.
Wolfgang Laib's first Wax Room was built in 1988 in Berlin for the exhibition Zeitlos, which was curated by Harald Szeemann, at the Hamburger Bahnhof. The free-standing room "Für einen anderen Körper/ For Another Body" is one of the first beeswax pieces by Wolfgang Laib and it has a similar, almost rectangular basic shape.
In the following years, the artist created more Wax Rooms, all of which have a concealed interior which is not visible from the outside. A narrow opening in an otherwise unbroken wall allows the spectator to enter the windowless chamber. The shape of the basic layout is roughly an elongated rectangle, but each interior chamber is individual, with some tapering to a narrow point and others bulging in the middle. Wax Rooms from this period can be found in the collections of the Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, the Kunstmuseum Bonn, the DePont Foundation Tilburg and MoMA New York. Last year, Wolfgang Laib installed a Wax Room in the Phillips Collection Washington, where it is on permanent display.
Wolfgang Laib spent several years searching in the Pyrenees for a suitable place to install a Wax Room in the open. In 2001, he found the location he was looking for and built a Wax Room on the Roc del Maure near Marcevol. The nearly four-metre long and three-metre high chamber was hewn into the rock and the beeswax was applied direct to the stone by hand. 'La Chambre des Certitudes/The Room of Certitudes' is accessible only after a one-hour walk up the mountainside and it offers a very intense experience of the work and a view over to the Massif du Canigou.
For more information about the artist and for images please contact the gallery.