Via Lewandowsky

The whistle (flattened) / die Pfeife (platt gemacht)

, 2016
  • Material
    Bronze casting of a referee whistle pressed with 50 tons
  • Edition Size
  • Measurement
    7,5 x 2,7 x 0,5 cm
    Edition Size 90
    signed and numbered
  • Details about the frame
    Hand-customized malple frame, stained and waxed black. Size 33 x 25 cm, including spacers, the bronce cast is mounted on red felt, Incl. Artglass (70% UV).
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About the edition

It is difficult to escape the power of authority - this was Via Lewandowsky's experience as a young artist in the GDR, even though he knew how to rebel. And authorities don't only exist in dictatorships. Thus Lewandowsky drives up a 50-ton road roller to disable the most important tool of referees, the whistle, and then casts the result, flattened as it is, in bronze and nobly frames it. The title of his signed and numbered edition, "Die Pfeife (flatt gemacht)" ("The Whistle (Flattened)"), can be read as both a laconic, sober statement and an ironic, biting insult - a provocative ambiguity that is generally characteristic of Lewandowsky's art. Created at the time of the 2006 World Cup, the work opens up further reference spaces. For soccer, as Germany's national sport, is anything but an ideology-free zone; rather, it proves to be highly charged and political, and the power structure that shapes it extends far beyond the possibilities of the referees to influence the game and its players.

About the artist

"Is your art beautiful?" was asked Via Lewandowsky in an interview. "Absolutely, it's the beauty of misunderstanding," was his answer. "But be careful, too much beauty makes you fat." Lewandowsky argues for an aesthetic of failure and celebrates the futility of doing. We are thus dealing with a skeptic in the Berlin artist, whose works, mostly installations, however, reveal not only tragedy but also comedy. Ironically and critically, he approaches certainties that rarely stand up to his scrutiny. For example, his adapted neon sign "Der Sozialismus siegt" ("Socialism wins") - mounted on a high-rise building in his hometown of Dresden during GDR times - parodies the former utopia. Lewandowsky studied scenography at the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts from 1982 to 1987, and his actions and happenings critical of socialism quickly caused a stir among cultural functionaries, so that he fled to the West in the summer of 1989, shortly before the fall of the Wall. Since his participation in documenta 9 in 1992, at the latest, Lewandowsky, who has received numerous awards for his "against-the-grain thinking," has been in demand internationally. Translated with (free version)

Latest Exhibitions (Selection)

In his 80-channel sound installation "Wie bitte," Via Lewandowsky explored the understanding and non-understanding of our conversations, our talking to the other person, silence, and waiting for answers in the space of St. Matthew's Church in Berlin 2022. Also this year, he participated in the project "A Bridge for Utopia" with a site-specific work that revolved around the old Dömitz railroad bridge in the Wendland region. A solo exhibition of Lewandowsky's work was also on view at the Ute Parduhn Gallery in Düsseldorf in 2022.

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