AboutPeter Fischli / David Weiss
02/03/13 ' 13/04/13
Monika Sprüth and Philomene Magers are delighted to present an exhibition of work by
Peter Fischli and David Weiss. The solo presentation will display a cross-fading installation
of photographs showing views of airports. Beside this work, four sculptures are on view.
Peter Fischli and David Weiss began collaborating in the mid 1970's and have since
developed an influential position within contemporary art. The artistic duo have worked
closely with Monika Sprüth and Philomene Magers for over three decades, presenting one
of their first solo exhibitions at Monika Sprüth Galerie in Cologne in 1983. Their focus of
artistic investigation is the unspectacular aspects of domestic life, employing a wide variety
of creative means of expression, ranging from film, photography and artists' books, to
sculptures and multimedia installations. The artists adapt everyday objects and situations
which they place ' not without humour or irony ' in an artistic context, thus raising
philosophical and theoretical questions regarding the explanation of the world.
Since the nineteen-eighties, Peter Fischli and David Weiss have been photographing
cities, landscapes, and airports during their travels. The airports, which are the central
motif of this exhibition, may be seen in quite different ways. On the one hand, as an
autonomous and contemporary civilisation with coherent spatial organisation, an individual
set of actors and an aesthetic language of their own. Airports are a fundamental symbol of
economic globalization and networks, and they function as points of departure and
intersection for international trade. On the other hand, they are the source of yearnings
which leave their mark on people in their striving towards far-away and unknown places.
Airports move within an ambiguity between sameness and difference. Cultural and
geographical distinctions are apparent everywhere.
In this work of the artistic duo, in which hundreds of photographs of airports play the
leading role, the principle of fades and the use of slowly dissolving transitions convey an
impression of contemplative rapture with vivid meditative and evocative power. The four women in business costumes (1987/2012) made of white plaster show the nonindividual
and stereotypical appearance of a modern woman whose activity is not clearly
defined, as there are no details that allow an individual attribution. Likewise, the three
automobiles (1988/2013) are, like airplanes, an essential part of our world, but in the
selected aesthetic and form they only resemble prototypes. The sculptures can be read as
a steady effort and ongoing artistic experiment to give an impression of today's life and its
The Swiss artists Peter Fischli (b. 1952) and David Weiss (1946-2012) previously
presented their airport photographs at the 13th International Architectural Exhibition,
Common Ground, curated by David Chipperfield, at the Venice Architecture Biennial 2012.
Their works have been on view at a large number of biennials as well as in extensive
retrospectives at the Deichtorhallen Hamburg (2008), at the Kunsthaus Zürich (2007), as
well as at the Tate Modern, London (2006). In 2003, the artistic duo were awarded the
Golden Lion at the 50th Venice Biennial for their multimedia installation Fragenprojektion
("Questions," 1981-2002). They were presented at documenta X in 1997, and their film Der
Lauf der Dinge ("The Way Things Go," 1987) was shown at documenta VIII in 1987. In
recent years, their works have been presented in solo exhibitions at the Art Institute of
Chicago (2011), at the Sammlung Goetz, Munich (2010), at the 21st Century Museum of
Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan (2010), as well as at the Gwangju Biennial, South
Korea (2010). In 2012, Fischli and Weiss presented the solo exhibition Walls, Corners,
Tubes, and in 2009 Objects on Pedestals at Sprüth Magers London.
Sprüth Magers Berlin will also be concurrently presenting a solo exhibition by Andreas