Ursus Wehrli : The Art of Clean Up: Life Made Neat and Tidy

Swiss artist and comedian Ursus Wehrli’s playful crusade to organize the world, I was thrilled for the English release of The Art of Clean Up: Life Made Neat and Tidy (public library). From bringing new meaning toordering the cosmos to arranging alphabet soup in alphabetical order, his obsessive deconstruction and reorganization of life’s necessary small chaoses is at once utterly delightful and playfully philosophical, reminding us of the quintessential human tendency to seek to bring order to the chaos of life.




I've been thinking about investigating autism during this project, and when I saw this work I instantly thought of a common thing many people with autism experience, which is wanting textures and colours of food to be separated and not touching each other. The fruit salad image is a perfect representation of this, and is really simply yet beautifully done, the meaning is communicated so well. I was also interested in the categorisation of uncommon shapes, like the brush strokes of the characters on these signs. What common features are used to categorise them? Size or shape? Could they be split into colours AND shapes? 

I love the way in which this artist implements such strict structure into something that normally is marketed in a very free and exciting way. This regimental approach to sweets is precisely the opposite of the way in which they are viewed, as something which is purely "for children." I think that this work is also very interesting due to the way it aims to seek order in everyday objects. What else could be categorised and sorted by the same rules? Why do we seek such structure in our everyday lives?


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