I had some head molds sitting in my studio left over from a mannequin production I did for a movie in China. Back then, I was living in Beijing. I also had some pieces of thick bamboo wood lying around from another installation that I had done. I was playing around with those two elements and after awhile the heads ended up on the bamboo sticks.
The meaning and content of a work grows while I’m in the process of doing the physical work. I really like the literal aspect of “matchstick head” in German, (which is) called, “Streichholzkopf.” It refers to an actual head (and) is stronger in the German language.
One could read those burned matches as worn-out or burned-out human beings. The installation can appear like a battlefield or just like some playground where someone played around with matches and dropped them. All the heads I’ve used so far are from Chinese people. This sometimes leads to the assumption that this is a criticism of the Chinese government. One can read it that way, but I think this metaphor could be used for any western system as well. The matchboxes could be simply seen as formal elements within the installation, as coffins or simply as matchboxes. I actually like to keep it open since I don’t like art that leaves no space for one’s own imagination.
Wolfgang Stiller nasceu em 1961 na cidade de Wiesbaden na Alemanha. De 1981 a 1984 estudou comunicação e design. De 1984 a 1989 estudou artes plásticas na Academia de Artes de Düsseldoerf. Entre 1999 a 2006 morou e trabalhou em nova York trocando o centro capitalista pela China, vivendo em Pequim entre 2006 e 2008. Em 2007 atuou como professor convidado da New York University em Xangai. Desde 2009 reside em Berlim. Suas obras foram apresentadas em mostras individuais e coletivas por diversos países europeus, asiáticos e Estados Unidos. Esta mostra no MUBE é sua primeira mostra na América do Sul.