Peter Fischli and David Weiss
07/12/2003 - 08/02/2004
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen
Museumpark 18 20 3015 CX Rotterdam
Tel.: + 31 (0) 10 44 19 475 Fax.: + 31 (0) 10 43 60 500
Four monumental installations by the Swiss artists Fischli and Weiss will be shown at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. Their work, which is characterized by a game with authenticity and fiction, has been on view in many places inside and outside Europe. At the Venice Biennale this year, Fischli and Weiss won the Gold Lion with an installation that will also be shown at this exhibition. Incidentally, this is the first time in 18 years that the two Swiss return to the Netherlands for an exhibition. In 1979 Peter Fischli (*1952) and David Weiss (*1946), both born in Zurich, decided to work together closely. Almost 25 years later they still form a duo of artists, operating from Zurich. Fischli and Weiss’s oeuvre is often about seemingly insignificant things. These are put into an interesting, usually museological context according to an entirely personal, unique strategy. The exhibition at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen includes a presentation of three existing installations of huge dimensions, and one more or less new work, complemented with a few smaller works from different periods. The four large works can be regarded as an overview of 24 years of Fischli and Weiss. Moreover, they represent a working method that the duo applies almost systematically: ideas are refined again and again, through a series of presentations, until they acquire their definitive form. All four works at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen come close to this ultimate form. In the large middle gallery of the museum, the installation featuring “questions” will be shown. This could already be seen, in a smaller version, in Cologne (the Museum Ludwig) and at the latest Biennale in Venice. Using 19 slide projectors, hundreds of handwritten questions in five different languages are projected onto all the walls. These often existential questions cannot really be answered and are set on a slightly naive philosophical level. “Why am I always right?” “Is there a world without me?” In a dark space, this elegant “bombardment of questions” is aimed at the viewers. In one of the two adjoining galleries, the work “Sichtbare Welt” will be shown. “Sichtbare Welt” is a thirty metre long light table, on which a few thousand slides “document” the different stages in the oeuvre of the artists. Thus the well-known “Airport photos”, marvellous series of flowers, snapshots of new housing estates and travel photographs come together, serially arranged. Banality and beauty intertwined: a cross section of the photographic oeuvre. In the other adjoining gallery, an installation will be shown that was realized especially for the opening of the Tate Modern. This consists of a varied collection of implements, hand-cut from polyurethane, which can hardly be distinguished from the real examples and collectively create the impression that the room is right in the middle of being renovated. Pallets, paint buckets, pedestals, brushes, building materials, cigarette butts, etc.: everything looks real, but isn’t. For the exhibition at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen an extensive collection of new objects will be added to the existing installation by the artists. Finally, there is a recent work. This concerns a slide installation, in which two slides are projected on top of each other every time, in such a way that a “monstrous” series is created. Strange, confusing and sometimes disturbing, but also very beautiful images come and go. Fischli and Weiss refer to it as an “Unsettled Work”, an installation that is still very much in the making. An older polyurethane sculpture entitled “Boite de nuit” and a few video works round out the exhibition.