at The New Museum through Feb. 7th, 2010
The Urs Fischer exhibit currently taking over three floors of the New Museum is wonderfully unusual; every time the elevator doors opened, I was taken aback. The first floor is cluttered, to a collage-like effect, with large, mirrored boxes screen printed with non-scaled objects like cupcakes, meat, VHS tapes, CD cleaners, telephone booths, running shoes, high heels, photography books and (most oddly) an Ashanti cardboard cut out. I wrote down some of the books titles (Schweizer Sagen, Marius Pictor fotografo) to get an idea of why he picked these particular objects to display together, but I think that maybe the objects themselves are irrelevant and he’s more in awe that all these objects coexist in our world… but you’d have to ask him.
The second floor whisks you to an entirely different environment and mood. The walls, seemingly sterile and gray are actually wallpapered with photographs of the room itself. Whether through lighting or the tints in the photos, the walls offer amazing shades of color the longer you look at them – the perfect backdrop for a candy purple melting grand piano – and as you peruse the room, a few moments of unexpected humor. It’s rare to see so many gallery goers actually laughing out loud in an exhibit.
The third floor again, takes you to another world, this one full of gigantic metal sculptures made from tiny pieces of clay he pinched together then sent away to be replicated many, many times larger. Within these twirling, hulking, silvery shapes is a bright pink melting lamp post, a skeleton covered in dirt, muck, and lint, and the one piece I just did not “get” at all: a cake and travel bag floating above a subway seat with ceramic slugs.
In fact, what any of it all means escapes me entirely – but I felt transformed, like I was walking into an environment like none I had ever experienced before, and I found the whole thing fantastic.