Installation view, Peter Fischli David Weiss, Equilibres, Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Löwenbräu Areal, Zurich, 2009
Galerie Eva Presenhuber is delighted to announce a new exhibition featuring 82 photographs taken by Peter Fischli and David Weiss in the years 1984 and 1986.
While the series as a whole is titled Equilibres, every single photograph is given an additional, individual name. These titles, sometimes characterized by a narrative roguishness, prove to be pragmatic descriptions, word creations, negations (when absent), or simply nonsense. For instance, a filigree arrangement of a wine bottle and a carrot stuck through with a fork and placed on vegetable graters, all held together and tightened by a piece of cord, is titled ‘Die Seilschaft’ (‘Roped Mountaineers’). Another example is an assemblage involving several objects, such as a bicycle, a violin, and a skull facing a mirror, which is called ‘Steht Herr Wahnsinn vor der Tür’? (‘Is Mr. Insanity at the Door?’).
The pictures show everyday objects and studio detritus – chairs, brooms, knives, carrots, and cucumbers – that are arranged playfully so as to form tense, but balanced and beautiful assemblages. The idea underlying these color and black-and-white works is the state of temporary equilibrium.
Rather than being merely hinted at, the ephemeral character of the assemblages, which can only be materialized in the form of photographs, is an artistic concept. Although the actual size may vary greatly from one arrangement to another, it is equalized in the photographs. Irrespective of size and material, the assemblages eventually appear in almost the same size, different though they may be.
In addition, the photographs of the Equilibres series are to be regarded as the basis for the film Der Lauf der Dinge (The Way Things Go), in which kinetic energy triggers off a chain reaction in a series of objects put up one after another.
Peter Fischli and David Weiss live and work in Zurich. They began collaborating in 1979 with the so-called Wursterie (Sausage Series). In 1995, the artists represented Switzerland at the Venice Biennale, and in 1996, a retrospective traveled to museums in San Francisco, Boston, and Philadelphia. They have also had numerous museum exhibitions throughout Europe, including in Barcelona, Paris, Basel, and Rotterdam. Their work is currently the subject of a retrospective with the title Fragen und Blumen, Eine Retrospektive (Flowers and Questions, A Retrospective), which started at Tate Modern in London and is now on view at the Musée d’ Art Moderne in Paris, before opening at the Kunsthaus in Zurich on June 5 and closing at the Deichtorhallen in Hamburg.