This spring, as part of the OUT SITE programme, MUMOK in collaboration with the MuseumsQuartier Vienna is showing three ‘walk-into’ sculptures by the Dutch art collective Atelier Van Lieshout : the ‘BikiniBar’ (2006) - a female torso dressed in a bikini; ‘Darwin’ (2008) - a dark blue sperm; and the ‘BarRectum’ (2005) - a multi-functional, real, oversized anal orifice.
The ‘walk-into’ sculptures by the collective founded in 1995 by Dutch artist Joep van Lieshout, thematize the functionality and aesthetics of sculpture in public spaces in an inventive and humorous way. Amorphous forms that connect up the issues of housing, provisioning, waste disposal, locomotion, and fertilization form the core of Atelier Van Lieshout’s works. Alongside the ready-to-use furniture such as functioning berths, living capsules, or bar counters, the objects often fulfil communal functions such as that of a field hospital or medical laboratory. Over and above this, Atelier Van Lieshout explored the possibilities of autonomous social development with the independent city state, AVLVille, founded in 2001 in Rotterdam harbour and prohibited by the authorities.
Quotations by Joep van Lieshout BarRectum, 2005
“BarRectum, ArschBar, AssholeBar, BarAnus. While the translations sound different, the form is universally recognizable. The bar takes its shape from the human digestive system: starting with a tongue, continuing to the stomach, moving through the small and large intestines and exiting through the anus. While BarRectum is anatomically correct, the last part of the intestine has been inflated to a humongous size to hold as many drinking customers at the bar as possible. The anus itself is part of a large door that doubles as an emergency exit.’ BikiniBar, 2006 ‘A meeting point for elderly people: beautiful, cruel and sensual, with a nice interior space. Both art and architecture, BikiniBar represents a building as a sculpture and a sculpture as a building. There is a place to rest inside, where people can withdraw from the busy beach life or bad weather. It’s also possible to play a very special game of darts! BikiniBar is the only female body you can enter without permission.’ From: Atelier Van Lieshout. Atelier Van Lieshout eds., Rotterdam, NAi Publ., 2007