Suddenly this overview by Peter Fischli and David Weis
Peter Fischli (born in 1952) and David Weiss (born in 1946) are both artists in their own right. They began to collaborate in 1979 up until 2012 after Weiss’ death, with their first exhibition in 1981 at the Galerie Balkon in Geneva. Resisting any specific style, medium or material, their work explores the sublimity of the objects and events constituting everyday life. Inspired by surrealism, pop art and conceptual art, their photographs, films, books, sculptures, and multimedia installations rely on observation and a witty misuse of cultural genres from low budget Hollywood movies to picturesque postcards.
Their series “Suddenly this overview” 1981, consists of f 250 small sculptures of unfired clay, rarely used in fine art, which seek to inventory the whole human history and knowledge. Fischli and Weiss both agreed clay was suited to making three dimensional sketches that they could hand mould and revise.
The collection of scenes varies from mythic events such as Moses parting the sea, to trivial moments like somebody waiting for an elevator. Each scene is accompanied by a witty caption or punch line such as “The Mr and Mrs Einstein after the conception of their Genius son Albert” and “Mick Jagger satisfied after composing I Can’t get no satisfaction.” Titles like these ones provide another layer of context that the view might not see upon first look.
Other pieces in the collection capture “popular opposites,” comparing and questioning conventional pairs like a mouse and an equally sized elephant. Another topic was “high and low,” featuring two dogs, one on its hind legs, while the other on all fours. These sculptures lead the viewer to questioning the most basic assumptions of everyday living.
Following the success of their first gallery presentation, Fischli and Weiss continued to expand on the project, creating over six hundred sculptures over thirty years.
Over Easter I tried not to work too much on my project itself as I was feeling burned out and wasn’t very happy with the direction it was going. I needed to step back and look over what I had already made and go from there. I Have found that the notebooks this semester have been very repetitive and I never really know what to put into detail about the project work. I am doing the same thing every week of making objects out of clay and placing them on the wood.