Andreas Fischer

Galerie Reinhard Hauff

Fischer-_MG_4784.gif

Andreas Fischer, Truth Table, 2010

Andreas Fischer, Truth Table, 2010

The unusual installation of Andreas Fischer’s first solo exhibition in Stuttgart took me by surprise. The gallery’s interior was transformed into a series of rooms divided by Polystyrene walls creating intimate and sound-absorbing spaces to exhibit his kinetic sculptures. The unique acoustic property of the Polystyrene gave the space an underground-bunker feeling as did the use of temporary fluorescent lighting. Fisher transforms everyday household objects into machines by using electronic controls and simple components. The works initially look like sculptures; when viewers pass by, motion detectors unexpectedly bring them to life with various moving mechanical parts and sound tracks.

In addition to mechanics and sound, the subversive use of audio and visual puns characterises Fischer’s work. Maria (2010) distorts the well-known 17th-century Catholic song ‘Maria, breit den Mantel aus’ (Maria, spread your protective cloak over me). A metal chair – draped with a towel and fitted with two speakers, hidden in lamps attached to each chair arm – suddenly starts moving and singing the song recorded by Fischer. The repetitive rocking motion combined with the melody suggests that no harm can come, once one sits underneath the cloak – as long as one resists the temptation to look upwards.

In Kaiman Krücke (Caiman crutch, 2011), a tuft of hair swings back and forth over a bed-head frame to the sound of a popular sailor song ‘Kaiman Krücke’, also sung by Fischer who is referring to the relaxed life one could have living on a tropical island and earning money on the stock market without paying taxes. His bass voice provides the perfect tones for lamenting songs and also for spoken texts, which sound like old radio broadcasts. In -_Wirds bald_ (It’ll be soon, 2011), the artist repeats how things will get ‘besser’ (better). My doubts intensified as I observed the open laser on the CD-drive playing the mantra. It could stop at any time without improving anything.

The ten sculptures shown in the exhibition work both collectively and independently. Performing together, Fischer’s machines create a discordant soundtrack – an orchestra of mechanical parts and music. Yet the machines follow their own logic and have a uniquely anthropomorphic sense of charm – performing laborious tasks and simultaneously exploring their intentions, as if they were made out of human flesh and bone instead of the everyday objects that serve humans. However efficiently they perform their tasks, their purpose continues to be speculative, regardless of their interaction with visitors’ movements. The tensions that exist in Fischer’s kinetic sculptures reveal the constraints inherent in our relationship to machines: not only how machines operate but also how they reflect the social and political uncertainties that exist in our lives.

Issue 2

First published in Issue 2

Autumn 2011

Most Read

Ahead of ARCOMadrid this week, a guide to the best institutional shows in the city
A report commissioned by the museum claims Raicovich ‘misled’ the board; she disputes the investigation’s claims
In further news: Jef Geys (1934–2018); and Hirshhorn postpones Krzysztof Wodiczko projection after Florida shooting
If the city’s pivot to contemporary art was first realized by landmark construction, then what comes after might not...
Ignoring its faux-dissident title, this year's edition at the New Museum displays a repertoire that is folky, angry,...
An insight into royal aesthetics's double nature: Charles I’s tastes and habits emerge as never before at London’s...
In other news: Artforum responds to #NotSurprised call for boycott of the magazine; Maria Balshaw apologizes for...
At transmediale in Berlin, contesting exclusionary language from the alt-right to offshore finance
From Shanghai to Dubai, a new history charts the frontiers where underground scenes battle big business for electronic...
Hauser & Wirth Somerset, Bruton, UK
Zihan Karim, Various Way of Departure, 2017, video still. Courtesy: Samdani Art Foundation
Can an alternative arts network, unmediated by the West's commercial capitals and burgeoning arts economies of China...
‘That moment, that smile’: collaborators of the filmmaker pay tribute to a force in California's film and music scenes...
In further news: We Are Not Surprised collective calls for boycott of Artforum, accuses it of 'empty politics'; Frida...
We Are Not Surprised group calls for the magazine to remove Knight Landesman as co-owner and withdraw move to dismiss...
Paul Thomas Anderson's latest film is both gorgeous and troubling in equal measure
With Zona Maco opening in the city today, a guide to the best exhibitions across the Mexican capital
The question at the heart of Manchester Art Gallery’s artwork removal: what are the risks when cultural programming...
In further news: Sonia Boyce explains removal of Manchester Art Gallery’s nude nymphs; Creative Scotland responds to...
Ahead of the India Art Fair running this weekend in the capital, a guide to the best shows to see around town
The gallery argues that the funding body is no longer supportive of institutions that maintain a principled refusal of...
The Dutch museum’s decision to remove a bust of its namesake is part of a wider reconsideration of colonial histories,...
At New York’s Metrograph, a diverse film programme addresses a ‘central problem’ of feminist filmmaking
Ronald Jones pays tribute to a rare critic, art historian, teacher and friend who coined the term Post-Minimalism
In further news: curators rally behind Laura Raicovich; Glasgow's Transmission Gallery responds to loss of Creative...
Nottingham Contemporary, UK
‘An artist in a proud and profound sense, whether he liked it or not’ – a tribute by Michael Bracewell
Ahead of a show at Amsterdam’s EYE Filmmuseum, how the documentarian’s wandering gaze takes in China’s landscapes of...
In further news: Stedelijk explains why it cancelled Ettore Sottsass retrospective; US National Gallery of Art cancels...
With 11 of her works on show at the Musée d'Orsay, one of the most underrated artists in modern European history is...
Reopening after a two-year hiatus, London’s brutalist landmark is more than a match for the photographer’s blockbuster...
What the Google Arts & Culture app tells us about our selfie obsession
At a time of #metoo fearlessness, a collection of female critics interrogate their own fandom for music’s most...
A rare, in-depth interview with fashion designer Jil Sander

Latest Magazines

frieze magazine

November - December 2017

frieze magazine

January - February 2018

frieze magazine

March 2018