Thursday, February 25, 2016

The cave of Fischli and Weiss

The work of Peter Fischli and David Weiss does not escape the Platonic paradigm of art being imitation of reality. They acknowledge it and play with a system of values addressing the duality of concepts like reality and fiction. The retrospective at the Guggenheim literally escalates to a point where art is nothing more than imitation: the top floor displays objects made of polyurethane that are perfect reproductions of real objects.

The artists make use of humor in the videos, photographs and sculptures. The exhibition implies the duo was committed to constructing an epic and farcical attempt to capture reality in its entirety, which can be understood through the series of small sculptures representing everyday situations in a lifetime. This show successfully conveys a strange sense of the unreal especially because the final sculptures appear to replicate reality but are all entirely made of rubber. The eye is fooled, the work almost demands you touch it as the senses are struck by curiosity.


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  3. I agree with your opening statement. I think that there is a strong sense of commitment, patience, respect, affection and loyalty that can be seen by the amount of work that the two artists created together, and also by the amount of time they worked together. But I have a question for you- Do you really think that the small sculptures are mundane and silly? Because isn't the beauty of the their work capturing reality, capturing life, whether it was other's or theirs together, and in a non-nihilistic way? I think that yes, maybe, if they were seen individually outside of a retrospective setting, they might confuse people, but seeing them collectively, with an array of events and people and emotions being communicated, it created a sense of interaction, of life, of a reality. It is the documentation of their history and of humans in general, and what they held most dear, from start to finish. It might seem absurd, capturing “mundane” moments, but aren’t those the most important moments of all?

    1. I didn't say the sculptures are silly, on the contrary, they are great, and the fact that they capture the ordinariness of everyday life makes the show very successful.

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