Peter fischli david weiss the way things go

Peter fischli and david weiss: the way things go

Since the artists made it part of their creative discourse to get by in a simple way, to leave aside work of high technical quality, the viewer can simply wander through their prolific oeuvre without pretending to find a common thread that determines their progress towards genius. In the work of Fischlli and Weiss one does not find a period of maturity: they were immature, sarcastic and unabashed from beginning to end.

As one walks through the exhibition one may come to have the suspicion that the Rat and the Bear, the alter egos of the artists and the caricatured protagonists of their medium-length films The Minimum Resistance (1981) and The Right Way (1983), were responsible for the creation and assembly of all the works on display, which is why they now greet us lying down at the beginning of the exhibition, resting after the great effort they have just made.

The tension produced by the threat of collapse present in Equilibrium produced a great interest in both artists, which would later give rise to a short film entitled The course of things (Der Lauf der Dinge – The way things go, 1987), one of their most recognized pieces. It consists of a Rube Goldberg machine, a 30-minute “domino effect” or chain reaction, made from everyday objects, waste and different materials, from water to gasoline and other industrial products.

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Peter fischli david weiss: how to work better

The Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga exhibits the video by Swiss artists Peter Fischli and David Weiss entitled El curso de las cosas (The way things go / Der lauf der dinge, 1987).  It documents a long causal chain assembling everyday objects, such as a Rube Goldberg machine. This machine is an intentionally complex contraption in which a series of devices performing simple tasks are linked together to produce a domino effect in which the activation of one device triggers the next device in the sequence, performing a chain action.

Peter fischli and david weiss diagram

(April 2013) The Serpentine Gallery in conjunction with the Royal Parks in London present “Rock on Top of Another Rock” (2010/13) by Swiss artists Fischli / Weiss. Located near the entrance to the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens, the work comprises two large granite boulders seemingly balanced on top of each other. Standing approximately 5.5 meters high, the installation oscillates between stability and instability, construction and destruction.

Like many of the artists’ best-known works, the rocks are imbued with an unmistakable wit and a serious sense of the absurd. The idea behind the composition was described by Peter Fischli: “In Norway…putting a rock on top of another rock in the desert is the first thing you do if you want to leave a footprint. When you walk and you want to find your way back… you make this mark. It’s a very archaic, simple thing… We wanted to do something that would force you to stop your car and get out and take a picture.”

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Peter fischli david weiss the way things go del momento

P.M.: For Peter and David it was always very important to make the “waste of time” a way to confront a contemporary culture that assumes time as production time, everybody “produces” something or is on the way to become an assiduous producer of something, how do you relate to that idea of time and production?

P.M.: Flowers is a piece that derives from a very clear and mature process of Peter and David: there is a double exposure (analogous, by the way) to generate images from very precise rules but finally they have to assume the result as a random action. They are too European in that their culture educated them under rational mechanisms, but they found in the Dadaists a school that liberated them. Tell me about your mechanisms, your process of selection and intervention of this piece.

P.M.: Every time I revisit the work of Fischli & Weiss I think that they felt the need to order the world through artistic actions that are resolved, many times, from intuition. Although they could make very punctual gestures, in reality they were betting on very long processes, on letting the sum make possible a new condition of things. The Visible World series (which also made them come to Mexico and let me see them work very closely), is undoubtedly one of those pieces that will be essential to understand how an artist proposes a world (through his visibility and his point of view) that can alter the way in which others live our daily lives. From this idea, what kind of order do you propose with your intervention in Flowers?

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