Saturday, October 21, 2006

Flowers and questions

Tonight, we went to the Tate Modern after work to the Fischli & Weiss: Flowers & Questions retrospective. The two Swiss artists take an often witty and irreverent look at everyday life and express their take on the world through photographs, film and sculpture.

Featured at the Tate were sculptures of such everyday objects as cupboards, childrens' wellington boots, cigarette butts, a child's alien toy, tables, armchairs and "wooden" crates hand-carved from polyurethane and indistinguishable from the real thing. There were a brick wall and the charred remains of a tree cast in black rubber. There were dozens of tiny hand-modelled, unfired clay sculptures depicting important and unimportant events in the history of human kind, such as Herr and Frau Einstein shortly after the conception of their son, the genius Albert and Mick Jagger and Brian Jones going home satisfied after composing 'I can't get no satisfaction', a loaf of bread, a teaset and a man sitting alone in his armchair reflecting on the unseen view through his window.

There were thousands of photographs on display too: the hilarious Sausage Photographs depicted incidents such as a car accident or shoppers in a carpet showroom featuring characters and props made entirely from frankfurters and cold cuts.

And my favourite part of the show rotated 3,000 photographs taken by the artists on their various travels around the world - simple, straightforward tourist shots, not dissimilar to the ones on display by ordinary people on Flickr.

Funny and engrossing stuff. As Tate ETC magazine puts it:

"The way things go, and don't - that's life. In its totality, life is more than we can fully grasp; and yet in all its mundane aspects and repetitiveness, it's filled with negligible details. Between profound meaning and meaninglessness, there's room for irony..."

Afterwards, we continued our own fascinatingly mundane lives by going to Sainsbury's and buying pepperoni pizzas, coleslaw, wine, coca cola and lemon cheesecake for our own dinner at home.

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