Friday, July 12, 2013

Clay days

In addition to Simon Denny's inclusion in Massimiliano Gioni’s Biennale exhibition there was another NZ connection - The bird E7. While there’s been a big move into fired ceramics by artists mud has been having a moment too especially in a wonderful collection of around 90 vignettes made out of unfired clay Peter Fischli and David Weiss. Included is a portrait of ‘E7’ leaving for its 11,500 kilometer nonstop flight from Alaska to New Zealand. Yes, as you probably guessed, E7 is the Godwit. 

And the unfired clay story continues in Los Angeles via another Swiss artist. For his survey exhibition Urs Fischer enlisted 1,500 volunteers to create literally thousands of unfired clay sculptures to fill the Geffen Contemporary at MoCA. You can see a good sampling of them here along with pics from the rest of the exhibition.  Added to this intense clay world were life size figurative candles in various states of meltdown, Fischer’s own contribution to the overall entropy. 

Fischli and Weiss’s small clay works were carefully displayed in vitrines to preserve their fragile composition from the atmosphere. The multitude of works commissioned by Fischer without the protection of the market were crumbling back to dust on the floor.

Images: top to bottom left to right, Peter Fischli and David Weiss's E7, E7 the Godwit, F&W's installation at the Venice Biennale, volunteer art with a large Urs Fischer candle in the background at the Geffen Contemporary, Urs Fisher melts and the clay crumbles at the Geffen