Berlin – Peter Fischli and David Weiss at Sprüth Magers Through April 13th, 2013

April 4th, 2013


Peter Fischli and David Weiss (Installation View), via Sprüth Magers

On view at Sprüth Magers Berlin is a solo exhibition of work by the collaboration between artists Peter Fischli and David Weiss (often shortened to “Fischli/Weiss”), which explores themes of transition, globalization and ephemerality through a selection of plastic sculptures and photographic installations.


Peter Fischli and David Weiss (Installation View), via Sprüth Magers

The Swiss duo began working together in the mid 1970s, and established an early working relationship with gallery oweners Monika Sprüth and Philomene Magers that has lasted 30 years.  Their work frequently delves into the “unspectacular aspects of domestic life,” using bland societal tropes as a sounding board for broader cultural aspirations and assumptions across various mediums, including photography, film, and sculpture.


Peter Fischli and David Weiss (Installation View), via Sprüth Magers

Fischli and Weiss have been interested in airports for decades, often photographing them during their travels.  For the artists, the airport is a powerful dichotomy of contemporary society, often constructed as an iconic representation of national identity, dispite its role as a single hub in a much broader international network.  The airport is a symbol of economic globalization and networks, a point of intersection for international trade, illustrating the juxtaposition of sameness and diversity arising from the nature of travel itself.  While the structure itself may change, its use is universal, and the single space is subsumed by the global architecture of the network itself.  The exhibition is especially pertinent to Berlin, an incredibly diverse, fluctuating city that has become a hub in the new global economy in the past several decades, as well as to the present era of denationalized flows of information and money in an increasingly connected society.


Peter Fischli and David Weiss (Installation View), via Sprüth Magers

Dissolving from one image to the next, Fischli and Weiss address the slow, plodding sameness of the photographs on view, allowing iconic structures to blend with the commonplace images of airplane wings, landing strips and blue sky common to any airport.  Four small, female sculptures look on, indefinite figures set against the backdrop of global exchange.  Stuck between definite location and indefinite image, Fischli and Weiss combine these elements in a play on the meaning of identity in a world working beyond borders.  The artists are also exhibiting a selection of their plaster car sculptures, a second selection of work that complements their interpretations of cultural forms, using the model’s own structural vagaries to draw out questions of completion, meaning and value placed on consumer objects and behaviors in contemporary life.


Peter Fischli and David Weiss (Installation View), via Sprüth Magers

These airport photographs have been previously shown at Common Ground 2012, the 13th International Architectural Exhibition within the Venice Architecture Biennial.  The pair has also exhibited at the Tate Modern, London; the Deichtohallen Hamburg; the Kunsthaus Zürich; and two editions of the documenta festival (VIII and X).


Peter Fischli and David Weiss (Installation View), via Sprüth Magers

Peter Fischli/David Weiss opened on March 2nd, 2013, and it will remain on view Tuesdays through Saturdays until April 13th, 2013 at Sprüth Magers Berlin.

Peter Fischli and David Weiss (Installation View), via Sprüth Magers
Peter Fischli and David Weiss (Installation View), via Sprüth Magers

Peter Fischli and David Weiss (Installation View), via Sprüth Magers
Peter Fischli and David Weiss (Installation View), via Sprüth Magers

Peter Fischli and David Weiss (Installation View), via Sprüth Magers
Peter Fischli and David Weiss (Installation View), via Sprüth Magers

—E. Baker

Related Links:
Exhibition Page [Sprüth Magers]
UK Guardian [Fischli and Weiss: the art of humour (2012)]