Peter Fischli David Weiss review

Art
3 out of 5 stars
Peter Fischli David Weiss review
Installation view, Peter Fischli David Weiss, 'Should I paint a pirate ship on my car with an armed figure on it holding a decapitated head by the hair?', Sprüth Magers, London, 16 January - 14 March, 2020 Courtesy Sprüth Magers Photography: Stephen W

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

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Théodore Gericault’s ‘The Raft of the Medusa’ (1918-19) is a masterpiece. It shows the brutal, gory truth of death and destruction in a turbulent world, on a raft. Swiss duo Peter Fischli & David Weiss’s (Fischli is still around, though Weiss died in 2012) raft sculpture plays on similarly apocalyptic themes, but squidged through a lens of sci-fi dystopia, Cold War paranoia and contemporary fear.

A big polyurethane raft (an update on a work originally made in the 1980s) fills the show’s first room. It’s piled high with random objects: soap, an anvil, an accordion, a car engine, flippers and African sculptures. There is life here, in the form of a sow suckling her piglets, but nothing human except for skulls.

The message is snarky, funny, satirical and obvious: the world is falling apart and none of us is smart enough to make any good decisions. As the crocodiles circle, we’d probably pack an accordion and some soap. Idiots. It’s a good work, but damn, it’s ugly.

The photo works upstairs are much less engaging, but downstairs, a video takes you crawling soundlessly through a sewer for an hour. It’s a trippy, claustrophobic voyage through the nasty hidden side of humanity.

That’s Fischli & Weiss for you: dragging you through the shit with a smile. It’s the kind of snark art that 2020 deserves.

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