In the Garden

ArtistPeter FISCHLI David WEISS
Material/ Techniquevideo
Copyright Notice© Peter FISCHLI David WEISS
Year of acquisition/ donation2014
DescriptionPeter Fischli: Born in Zurich, Switzerland in 1952. Lives and works there.
David Weiss: Born in Zurich in 1946. Died there in 2012.

In 1979, Peter Fischli and David Weiss presented “Sausage Photographs,” a series using sundry small items to reproduce everyday scenarios. Thereafter, the artists demonstrated an extraordinarily flexible command of various media, directing an earnest gaze at familiar scenes and objects and relying on both meticulous planning and randomness to highlight differences in meaning and diversity in interpretation. Endowed with a punk attitude arising from their rebellion against the ruling structure at a time when the art world was dominated by concept-driven movements they expended vast amounts of time and energy on their work, while restricting themselves to the use of familiar materials and clear-cut mechanisms, ‘misusing’ their rightful purposes. Their works demonstrate symbolically a worldview based on engagement with the world in which everything is always relative, as they investigate and criticize stereotypes,
and discover new values.

"Untitled (Concrete Landscape)" is a hand-wrought rectangular object. Displayed outdoors, it is exposed to rain and sun, covered in dust, and grows moss, all modifying its uneven surface and making it a landscape reflecting phenomena of the natural world. The audio piece "Kling Klong" was created with the display space of Untitled (Concrete Landscape) in mind, and consists of a gentle metallic tone that mingles with ambient sounds to produce an improvised soundspace. "Son et Lumière – Le rayon vert" is a mechanical sculpture made by combining found objects. Light from a portable lamp shines on a plastic cup rotating on a turntable, generating moving images that appears as light and shade on the wall in the background. The jerky mechanical sound gives the scene unfolding in front of the viewer’s eyes a real cogency. In the Garden is one of a series of videos featuring the Rat and Bear characters, the first of which appeared in 1981. In a Japanese garden, a tiny rat and bear study insects, touch moss to check its feel, stroll around, and sleep. At the exhibition “Son et Lumière, et sagesse profonde,” staged at the Museum in 2012, the object "Kling Klong Rock" made entirely from things in Fischli and Weiss’s studio, such as models for this and other works, sounds etc. offered a new modality for the work, due to the artists’ suggestion that it be displayed in the same space as "In the Garden".