Wednesday, October 22, 2014


Last year in his Los Angeles MoCA show we saw Urs Fischer’s life-size, photographic rendition of artist Josh Smith’s studio. That experience has been now eclipsed by the installation Fischer presented at the Gwangju Biennale. Although it was a real mission to get there, planes and boats and trains (ok no boats really) this one work alone would have made it all worthwhile. 

The first thing to be said for it is the sheer ambition of the installation - a huge 3D set representing Fischer’s 600 plus square meter New York apartment. It's got around 11 rooms, a super-sized hallway and so much storage it's scary. As with the Josh Smith studio the walls of the set are covered with 1:1 scaled photographic wallpaper of each room as it exists with all the furniture and fittings rendered in detail and in colour. You want to know what DVDs Urs Fischer watches, what spices he uses or the brand of his toothpaste, it's all here in this work 38 E. 1st St. 

In the Gwangju installation there's the terrific addition of actual works by other artists selected by Fischer and either hung over the ‘wallpaper’ or free-standing in the space. The two gold George Condo works are a knockout.  This is starting to sound complicated we know, so we've put a short movie we took here on OTNSTUFF to make more sense of it. Ambiguous, thought provoking and disturbingly fascinating, this installation insinuates each of us into the role of voyeur.
Images: Top one of the room's hanging a painting by Greek artist Vlassis Caniaris. Middle only the chairs table and fire hydrant are not photogrphic and bottom outside the set construction.