Thursday, February 25, 2016

Fischli and Weiss, How to Work Better, The Guggenheim

“Is my brain a poorly furnished apartment?”
“Who will pay for my beer?”
“Where are the galaxies moving to?”
Fittingly, the last room in the Fischli and Weiss retrospective at the Guggenheim is dark and silent, filled with projections of overlapping questions. Old questions fade out only to let new ones appear.
Within the world of Fischli and Weiss nothing is certain, yet that lack of certainty, while de-stabilizing, is by no means frightening. Instead, their work creates an extraordinary world where fiction is fact, an ordinary object is mythic and the mundane is fascinating.
Discarded pizza boxes and cigarette packs litter the artist’s studio that Fischli and Weiss create in Polyurethane Objects (2014). The objects are impeccably carved and entirely convincing, begging us to question our trust in sight. The artists also question the value of time, spending hours painstakingly recreating objects that they see everyday.

Wasting time seems paramount to their process, not in a negative sense, but more akin to how bored children spend hours creating their own worlds when stuck inside without toys to distract them: everything becomes a potential toy. Toys, costumes, and stage sets are all avenues through which we experience a version (though fictive) of reality. It is a similar fictive reality we experience in the work of Fischli and Weiss, bringing me to believe that perhaps it is by mimicking the world that we can see it most clearly.

1 comment:

  1. The opening of your review is great. The transition to the second paragraph is really good and the general description of the work is precise. The third paragraph is annoyingly good, when you say “begging us to question our trust in sight” I think you are describing the exact sensation one has when one sees those objects. You mention the playfulness of their work in a very delicate way by comparing it to children’s imaginary worlds. I would cut the word “bored” because I don’t think there’s boredom in playing with imagination. The closing sentences give a poetic finale to your review. I wrote about the same show and wasn’t that successful in conveying the ideas you clearly exposed. As a whole your review is great.