Fischli and Weiss The Way Things Go
Fischli and Weiss are amazing. Joel and Amanda told me all about them this past summer after they say an exhibition of their work in Europe. Then MoCAD had their work Questions in the brilliant Words Fail Me exhibition. Their Manifesto is also a great addition to any wall and life. This spring Joel and Amanda saw Fischli and Weiss's The Way Things Go again at the Hirshorn and picked up the DVD version of it (available on Netflix even now). This book focuses on The Way Things Go exploring why and how is fascinates in a way that expands this work in exciting directions. The book starts from observation and experience of the work in museum and people's reactions, a rich terrain upon which to build while never reducing the work's "purposeless purposiveness".
Some brief notes from my cards and reading:
-Opens with a Wittgenstein quote
-Der Lauf der Dinge (The Ways Things Go)
-"Even in our ignorance...it was clear that we had watched something great."
3- "...It was a little frightening, being moved like this..."
4- "what makes it popular also makes it good"
-Laurence Sterne, Tristam Shandy, 1759
-connection to Fischli and Weiss's 1984 Equilibres
8- "Our traditional means of formal analysis seems unable to deal with works, such as those, that are less concerned with external appearance than with 'internal' conceptual coherence."
10- procede- Raymond Roussel
-Roussel, near-neighbor of the Prousts
11- Duchamp- Roussel- The Large Glass
12- "As with Fischli and Weiss, a rigorous play is fundamental to Roussel's practice."
-Parmi Les Noirs, 1935- identical phrases- single letter- different meanings
15- Kierkegaard "Boredom is the root of all evil."
-"Everywhere things are transformed into actions, nouns become verbs."
21- illustrations by Wiliam Heath Robinson
-Frederick Winslow Taylor
27- "...it seems to be both an anticipation of the birth of time and memory of its end. But where does that place us?"
28- Archytas of Tarentum- 4th c. BCE- treatise on place
29- Focillon- "'a work of art treats space according to its own needs, defines space and even creates such space as may be necessary to it.'"
32- Henri Bergson- Creative Evolution
-the concrete solution
33- Bergson, time
34- waiting- humor
- Creative Evolution- influence on Marcel Proust
37-38- epic and anti-epic
55- "It becomes a part of time not apart from it."
-Bruno Schulz- "Our creators will not be heroes of romances in many volumes. Their roles will be short, concise; their characters- without a background. Sometimes, for one gestures, for one word along, we shall make the effort to bring them to life."
57- Bakhtin- laughter and the epic
59- the Incongruity Tradition
-1981 film, The Least Resistance, rat and bear costumes
60- 1979 sausage series
61- At the Carpet Shop- gherkins
66- Peter Fischli, "Operating on two planes at once is part of our practice."
67- Baudrillard, The System of Objects, 1968
-machines and perfection
70- The Way Things Go- "...objects do no more than they need to, no more than they are able."
-simple object, technology
-familiar and unexpected
-Bergson, Le Rire, 1900
71- automatism and life
73- "Balance is most beautiful just before it collapses."
77-78- Kant- "laughter as 'an affection arising from the strained expectation being suddenly reduced to nothing.'"
80- "purposeless purposiveness"
81- seeing how it was made
82- "of the smile rather than the laugh"
-"smile of wonder"
83- "This smile is not ours alone, but sits with quiet benevolence on the faces of the artists too... Just as one can hear the smile in the voice of someone talking over the phone, so one can see it in Fischli and Weiss's artworks."
-"one can produce wonder only if one succeeds"
-place of wonder in their practice
84- St. Augustine
107- Fragen (Questions), relationship to Daston and Park Questiones naturals of Adelard of Bath
87- David Weiss, "There is a reason why the Pyramids are famous. When you go there, no matter how many photographs you've seen of them before, you realize that the Pyramids are unique and that you don't understand them..."
89- the sublime