Klaus Weber is interested in the potentiality of the anti-civilizing, the dialectic between nature and culture. The motif of the ape recurs in several of his recent works. As the inner animal, the anima, it has to be awakened, embraced, erased – not in the sense of a nostalgic step back, but rather toward a new humanity whose subjectivity is not in opposition to its environment.
In Shape of the Ape, a chimpanzee sits on a stack of books, contemplating a human skull. The motif refers to Ape with Skull, sculpted by a now-obscure German Jewish artist in 1893. Lenin kept a copy on his study desk his whole life. Another was unexpectedly recovered after the Second World War from a German plane that was shot down while on a special mission for Hitler, and had sunk in the deepest lake in Austria. The sculpture depicts the magic point of creativity and reinvention, part of the iconography of the artist’s mind inventing the world by mocking it.
Another work by Weber for Manifesta 7, Large Wind Chime, produces a deep, dissonant sound based on the tritone and the Arab 17-tone scale. The medieval Church ruled that the dissonant tritone was the interval of the Devil or diabolus in musica (the devil in music). The Arabic scale includes tones absent from Western music. Together they produce a deep, strange humming that can be “listened to” with the whole body.
PALAZZO DELLE POSTE, VIA S.S. TRINITA’ 27, I-38100 TRENTO, ITALYmore