Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Fischli & Weiss

The German publisher Walther Konig has brought out an English-language edition of EQUILIBRES. The book consists of lo-fi photos (as sampled above) taken between 1984 and 1987 by Swiss artists Peter Fischli and David Weiss. These teetering assemblages prepared the way for their black-and-white video masterpiece of 1987  a half-hour film originally called Der Lauf der Dinge, known in English as THE WAY THINGS GO.
The same gritty warehouse-space serves for the still photos of Equilibres and for the film. Amazon describes Fischli & Weiss setting up The Way Things Go as "an enormous and precarious structure made out of common household items such as tea kettles, tires, old shoes, balloons, ladders and wooden ramps. Then, with fire, water, gravity and chemistry, they create a spectacular 100 foot long chain reaction performance of physical interactions, chemical reactions, and precisely crafted chaos ..."

Jeremy Millar published an entire book last year about the impact of The Way Things Go. Some people say that Fischli & Weiss are representing the destruction of civilization, while others see the creation of the world. Lots of big ideas. And on top of all that the film is also extensively funny.