Now online: Artist Talk with Jeff Wall, held on 17 March 2021
On 17 March 2021, Christina Végh, Director of Kunsthalle Bielefeld, and Prof. Dr. Steffen Siegel, Folkwang University of the Arts, Essen, held a conversation with the Canadian artist Jeff Wall (*1946, lives in Vancouver). The initial question was to what extent Wall’s works can be seen as imagined monuments or “anti-monuments”. With “The Thinker” (1986) and “The Giant” (1992), two iconic works from Jeff Wall’s oeuvre can be seen in the entrance hall of the Kunsthalle Bielefeld. While the figure in “The Thinker” sits on a kind of pedestal, the figure in “The Giant” is oversized in accordance with the title of the work. Both figures are related to Auguste Rodin’s “The Thinker” (1903) and Albrecht Dürer’s “Peasant Column” (ca. 1528), or the representation of the “Giant” as an oversized naked figure, in the tradition of monuments, but here in the medium of photography instead of the traditional sculptural form. Currently, the question of the monument is explosive. Depending on social upheavals, what is placed on the pedestal must always be renegotiated.
We would like to thank Jeff Wall for allowing us to present the talk here.