Fischli Weiss, Roal Admundsen Asks for Directions to The North Pole from Suddenly This Overview, 1981-2006
Sooner or later I’ll change direction, I’m sure, but while I’m on a run of dog-related posts and while I’m drawing on the work I saw in Venice last summer (and autumn, though I managed less actual art that trip) it would seem a shame not to sneak in a post about Suddenly This Overview, Fischli Weiss’s collection of unfired clay sculptures, a body of work that always makes me laugh. I confess I was sure there must be a dog in there somewhere, and of course there is though the Husky in Roal Admundsen Asks for Directions to The North Pole is actually the only one I can come up with.
Whenever I’ve seen them, the sculptures are shown in a single space with the plinths quite close so one works one’s way through the room contemplating the more thought-provoking ones and chuckling at, well, all of them really. As a body of work, Suddenly This Overview is quite silly – one-liners abound – but it’s also rather charming. It works on our shared understanding of the world; there are jokes here that everyone will get and some that might require less widely held knowledge.
Mick Jagger and Brian Jones Going Home Satisfied After Composing ‘I Can’t Get No Satisfaction’
As is often the case with Fischli Weiss’s work I get the feeling that Peter Fischli and David Weiss’s collaborative practice was based in the main on a shared enjoyment of the absurd and a compulsion to make each other laugh and I’m just glad they found a way to let the rest of us in on the joke. But though there’s a lightness of touch and, I assume, a desire to entertain, there’s also real substance to Fischli Weiss’s practice. Sometimes – as in Rock on Top of Another Rock – quite literally in the form of around 60 tonnes of rocky substance.