“The more you complicate things, the more you lose. In renouncing you achieve more.”
In 2014, Wolfgang Laib created a 40-meter-long underground corridor with wax-covered walls. Lit by bulbs emitting golden light, visitors are immersed in a sensory and meditative space. Having taken four years to achieve, this abstract and silent space is defined as much by its architectural dimension as by the smell of the beeswax that emanates in the atmosphere, beyond any visible reality. In 1988, the artist conceived his first wax chamber in an exhibition in West Berlin, whose title Pour un autre corps asserts a form of continuity between the visitor’s body and the wax membrane.
Transcription of a letter written by Wolfgang Laib (2021):
In this endless underground labyrinth of corridors, spaces, cryptes, tunnels with incredible artworks—
You suddenly come down the stairs into a chamber with beeswax—40m long, simply lit with some bulbs.
I normally never refer to historical themes, but as Anselm mostly does—this wax chamber with its shape refers to the corridor in Cumae near Naples in Italy—
The oracle of Sibyl of Cumae
From the known to the unknown
And from the unknown to the known…..
What an incredible work together of two artists—
What a pity that this is so rare in our contemporary art world.
Anselm can do what I cannot do—
And I can do what he cannot do.
And together it becomes so much more.
The two worlds give so much to each other.
And then we will continue this with Anselm’s painting “la clarté qui tombe des étoiles”
In the forest near my studio in southern Germany
For more on Wolfgang Laib’s work visit: