Curator: Judit Angel The exhibition was made in collaboration with Sprüth Magers Berlin London.
The art of Peter Fischli (1952–) and David Weiss (1946–2012), the Swiss artist duo who had been collaborating for over thirty years, draws on the hidden poetics of everyday life. Their works, which combine the genres of photography, film, artist book, sculpture and multimedia installation, reflect on the frailty and vulnerability of our world – or shed light on its inexhaustible beauty – by lifting banal objects and phenomena into the context of art. In 2006, in an interview for Frieze London, Peter Fischli said: “We want to take things out of the niche where they belong and transport them somewhere else, but without denying their origins. It is about taking but also about giving back.” The photos of their first collaborative work entitled Wurstserie (1979) portray miniature scenes composed of sausages, cold cuts and cardboard scenery. In contrast to such a humorous and ironic transformation of objects, Visible World (1986–2001), consisting of three thousand colour slides, perplexes viewers with a complete absence of artistic intervention. The photos Fischli and Weiss took of almost every corner of the world are just like pictures taken by a random tourist. At the same time, by placing these images of clichéd beauty into the context of art, they temporarily regain their uniqueness. Another favourite method of the artists is to handcraft precise replicas of common objects and interior furnishings from polyurethane, inviting viewers to wonder joyfully at the things of the world and rediscover their everyday surroundings. The key to the art of Fischli and Weiss is the deep humanism with which they engage the matters of art and life. There is no anger or pretention in their subversion of taboos; their irony is coupled with honesty, the sharpness of their thoughts is combined with empathy.
The Budapest selection presents the early work of the artists, through such classics as the photo series Equilibrium / A Quiet Afternoon (1984-85), along with the video it inspired, entitled The Way Things Go (1987), whose popularity is still undiminished, far outstretching the traditional boundaries of art. While the photos capture the audience with their inventive, anthropomorphic ensembles of objects that seem to defy gravity, the film offers the experience of a dazzling chain reaction involving objects, as well as physical and chemical reactions. During the exhibition period, visitors can view two of the artist duo’s early films: The Least Resistance (1981), which parodies the world of art, and The Right Way (1983) which explores their friendship and how art and life become intertwined.
The artworks of Peter Fischli and David Weiss have been displayed in the context of solo exhibitions at such prominent art institutions as the Kunsthaus in Zurich, the Tate Modern in London, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. They represented Switzerland twice at the Venice Biennial, and, in 2003, were awarded the Golden Lion. They also participated in the Documenta in Kassel on two occasions, in 1987 and 1997. Their works can be found in the collections of the Tate Modern, Guggenheim, and Hamburger Bahnhof, to mention only a few.
Supported by: Ministry of Human Resources, National Cultural Fund