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Comedian Ursus Werhli tidies up art

Updated on September 4, 2011

How to tidy up art

Comedian Ursus Werhli tidies up art

It is not unusual to feel that some modern art needs tidying up. Ursus Werhli, a Swiss comedian and cabaret Artist shows us how he does just that. In his humorous video at the TED conference, he gives a hilarious lecture on his new book Tidying up art

Who is he?

"Comedian and cabaret artist Ursus Wehrli is the author of Tidying Up Art, a visionary manifesto that yearns toward a more rational, more organized and cleaner form of modern art. In deconstructing the work of Paul Klee, Jasper Johns and other masters into its component parts, organized by colour and size, Wehrli posits a more perfect art world."

The TED website goes on to say, through the comments from viewers, "Wow Ursus! What a beautiful talk.
It was amazing how your organizing showed so vividly what is important in art by what becomes meaningless when you rearrange it.
Spatial relations, figures, juxtaposition of colour rather than the colours themselves. Shapes lines and figure are interesting but orientation and relation really makes the meaning."

The beauty of this talk, like the above comment from TED illustrates, is all that seemingly confused scope presents. It is through the chaos that a certain beauty sips through.


Ursus is a brilliant comedian with good timing and delivery. This short presentation should brighten up your day!

What I found interesting is the new compositions he created from the artworks he "tidied" up. This is a good lesson for artistes who may have a mental block. These can be stepping-stones to creating fantastic new artworks. As far as originality goes, I will leave Lucretius (94? -55 BC) to answer that "Nil posse creari de nilo" -Nothing comes from nothing.

The other aspect that struck me about this talk is the use of humour at the TED conference. "Laughter is the best medicine." It seems to be one of the best ways to get your mind working too! The benefits of such simple natural things are wide ranging. Ask any elderly person and see what they say!

TED is a fantastic website/conference to get inspired and educated at. Their website www.ted.com is packed with talks from varying professionals. Comedians rub shoulders with neurobiologists and filmmakers. Designers share their working processes and new inventions. TED.com is a fantastic website to broaden your mind at.

Enjoy the video on "Tidying up art" by Ursus Wehli here.

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