Stephan Weitzel – George in Paradise

by Zoe Ellis, in: CIRCA ART MAGAZINE, Contemporary visual culture in Ireland, Spring 2003


A harmonious accordance exists between Stephan Weitzel's installation  George in Paradise and the small but ornate 'Return to Art' space. Vestiges of the Georgian world, in the form of the permanent architectural features of the room, are injected with relevance by the objects Weitzel employs. A delicately crafted tailcoat with three white eggs for buttons, a waistcoat and a neck scarf, along with a pair of shoes lie on the floor as if in wait for a potential wearer. The fabrics are rich and opulent reflecting the royal blue walls. There is silk and satin, but upon closer inspection this Georgian apparel appears to be uncomfortable and restrictive. The coat is lined with sackcloth and has one continuous sleeve, like a strange but glamorous straight jacket, while the soles of the shoes are made with solid heavy brick. Solemnity envelops the arrangement in the context of the remaining features of the piece; a death mask outside seen from the window, a plait of white hair, a church plan, and the repetitive stamp print on wallpaper depicting an empty bed with varying numbers of the same two figures at either side of it. Taken individually, each object holds its own mysteries. In sum, they reflect a contemplative sensibility with a specific interest in the exploration of historical trajectories.

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