Fischli Weiss ambush ordinary objects, places and materials, transforming them into insightful renditions of the everyday.

Peter Fischli  David Weiss – Should I paint a pirate ship on my car with an armed figure on it holding a decapitated head by the hair? – London

 

The large-scale sculptural installation The Raft (1982–83) forms the heart of Should I paint a pirate ship on my car with an armed figure on it holding a decapitated head by the hair?. Banal objects such as barrels, wooden crates and canisters are piled loosely atop wooden planks, while crocodiles and hippos appear to lurk in the surrounding waters. First conceived in 1982, the work took its present form when it was expanded for an exhibition curated by Martin Kippenberger, in Cologne, in 1982. Made at a time when the world was in the grip of the Cold War and faced with a despoiled environment, the work articulates with equal force the uncertainty of our present age. Sculpted entirely from polyurethane, a versatile material often used in film productions, the choice of medium situates the work in the realm of the modest and mundane.

 

Peter Fischli  David Weiss – Should I paint a pirate ship on my car with an armed figure on it holding a decapitated head by the hair? – London

Peter Fischli David Weiss
The Raft, 1982/83
Polyurethane, painted
approx. 500 × 400 × 350 cm (h) all elements included
approx. 196 7/8 × 157 1/2 × 137 7/8 inches
all elements included

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Peter Fischli  David Weiss – Should I paint a pirate ship on my car with an armed figure on it holding a decapitated head by the hair? – London

Peter Fischli David Weiss
The Raft, 1982/83
Polyurethane, painted
approx. 500 × 400 × 350 cm (h) all elements included
approx. 196 7/8 × 157 1/2 × 137 7/8 inches
all elements included

Peter Fischli David Weiss
The Raft, 1982/83
Polyurethane, painted
approx. 500 × 400 × 350 cm (h) all elements included
approx. 196 7/8 × 157 1/2 × 137 7/8 inches
all elements included

Peter Fischli  David Weiss – Should I paint a pirate ship on my car with an armed figure on it holding a decapitated head by the hair? – London
Peter Fischli  David Weiss – Should I paint a pirate ship on my car with an armed figure on it holding a decapitated head by the hair? – London

Peter Fischli David Weiss
The Raft, 1982/83
Polyurethane, painted
approx. 500 × 400 × 350 cm (h) all elements included
approx. 196 7/8 × 157 1/2 × 137 7/8 inches
all elements included

Peter Fischli David Weiss
The Raft, 1982/83
Polyurethane, painted
approx. 500 × 400 × 350 cm (h) all elements included
approx. 196 7/8 × 157 1/2 × 137 7/8 inches
all elements included

Peter Fischli David Weiss
The Raft, 1982/83
Polyurethane, painted
approx. 500 × 400 × 350 cm (h) all elements included
approx. 196 7/8 × 157 1/2 × 137 7/8 inches
all elements included

Peter Fischli  David Weiss – Should I paint a pirate ship on my car with an armed figure on it holding a decapitated head by the hair? – London
Peter Fischli  David Weiss – Should I paint a pirate ship on my car with an armed figure on it holding a decapitated head by the hair? – London

Peter Fischli David Weiss
The Raft, 1982/83
Polyurethane, painted
approx. 500 × 400 × 350 cm (h) all elements included
approx. 196 7/8 × 157 1/2 × 137 7/8 inches
all elements included

Peter Fischli David Weiss
The Raft, 1982/83
Polyurethane, painted
approx. 500 × 400 × 350 cm (h) all elements included
approx. 196 7/8 × 157 1/2 × 137 7/8 inches
all elements included

Peter Fischli  David Weiss – Should I paint a pirate ship on my car with an armed figure on it holding a decapitated head by the hair? – London
Peter Fischli  David Weiss – Should I paint a pirate ship on my car with an armed figure on it holding a decapitated head by the hair? – London

Peter Fischli David Weiss
The Raft, 1982/83
Polyurethane, painted
approx. 500 × 400 × 350 cm (h) all elements included
approx. 196 7/8 × 157 1/2 × 137 7/8 inches
all elements included

Peter Fischli David Weiss
The Raft, 1982/83
Polyurethane, painted
approx. 500 × 400 × 350 cm (h) all elements included
approx. 196 7/8 × 157 1/2 × 137 7/8 inches
all elements included

Peter Fischli  David Weiss – Should I paint a pirate ship on my car with an armed figure on it holding a decapitated head by the hair? – London
Peter Fischli  David Weiss – Should I paint a pirate ship on my car with an armed figure on it holding a decapitated head by the hair? – London

Peter Fischli David Weiss
The Raft, 1982/83
Polyurethane, painted
approx. 500 × 400 × 350 cm (h) all elements included
approx. 196 7/8 × 157 1/2 × 137 7/8 inches
all elements included

Peter Fischli David Weiss
The Raft, 1982/83
Polyurethane, painted
approx. 500 × 400 × 350 cm (h) all elements included
approx. 196 7/8 × 157 1/2 × 137 7/8 inches
all elements included

Details
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If the composition recalls Théodore Géricault’s painting The Raft of the Medusa (1819), the objects on Fischli Weiss’s raft seem scarcely worth saving. A skull sits atop a treasure chest, while beside it a lifesaver offers an absurd counterpunch. The presence of a sow and her piglets recalls Noah’s ark, adding both an uplifting and a comic note to the overall air of disaster and precariousness.

 

Peter Fischli  David Weiss – Should I paint a pirate ship on my car with an armed figure on it holding a decapitated head by the hair? – London

Peter Fischli David Weiss
The Raft, 1982/83 (detail)

Peter Fischli  David Weiss – Should I paint a pirate ship on my car with an armed figure on it holding a decapitated head by the hair? – London

Peter Fischli David Weiss
The Raft, 1982/83 (detail)

Peter Fischli  David Weiss – Should I paint a pirate ship on my car with an armed figure on it holding a decapitated head by the hair? – London

Peter Fischli David Weiss
The Raft, 1982/83 (detail)

Details
Peter Fischli  David Weiss – Should I paint a pirate ship on my car with an armed figure on it holding a decapitated head by the hair? – London

Peter Fischli David Weiss
The Raft, 1982/83 (detail)

Peter Fischli  David Weiss – Should I paint a pirate ship on my car with an armed figure on it holding a decapitated head by the hair? – London

Peter Fischli David Weiss
The Raft, 1982/83 (detail)

Peter Fischli  David Weiss – Should I paint a pirate ship on my car with an armed figure on it holding a decapitated head by the hair? – London

Peter Fischli David Weiss
The Raft, 1982/83 (detail)

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Kanalvideo (1992) is silent, 60-minute video of footage from a camera advancing through an empty sewer. A dank, underground pipe, a feature of every large city in the world, is transformed into an abstract, contemplative kaleidoscope. Kanalvideo conjures a haunting poetics of the ordinary.

 

Peter Fischli  David Weiss – Should I paint a pirate ship on my car with an armed figure on it holding a decapitated head by the hair? – London

Peter Fischli David Weiss
Kanalvideo, 1992
Video, color, no sound
62:30 min

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Peter Fischli  David Weiss – Should I paint a pirate ship on my car with an armed figure on it holding a decapitated head by the hair? – London

Peter Fischli David Weiss
Kanalvideo, 1992
Video, color, no sound
62:30 min

Peter Fischli David Weiss
Kanalvideo, 1992
Video, color, no sound
62:30 min

Peter Fischli  David Weiss – Should I paint a pirate ship on my car with an armed figure on it holding a decapitated head by the hair? – London
Peter Fischli  David Weiss – Should I paint a pirate ship on my car with an armed figure on it holding a decapitated head by the hair? – London

Peter Fischli David Weiss
Kanalvideo, 1992
Video, colour, no sound, 62:30 min

Peter Fischli David Weiss
Kanalvideo, 1992
Video, colour, no sound, 62:30 min

Peter Fischli  David Weiss – Should I paint a pirate ship on my car with an armed figure on it holding a decapitated head by the hair? – London
Peter Fischli  David Weiss – Should I paint a pirate ship on my car with an armed figure on it holding a decapitated head by the hair? – London

Peter Fischli David Weiss
Kanalvideo, 1992
Video, colour, no sound, 62:30 min

Peter Fischli David Weiss
Kanalvideo, 1992
Video, colour, no sound, 62:30 min

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Fotografias (2005) draws on the world of trash culture, quoting the aesthetics of amusement parks and their promotional signage or decorated carousels. Exhibited on tables, the 10x15cm black-and-white photographs follow in the spirit of Fischli Weiss’s canonical work Visible World (1987–2000). The images in Fotografias alter the stridently colorful, large-format iconography of the amusement parks, focusing on surreal or grotesque details, and displaying them as small-format, black-and-white prints. The once exuberant, lurid imagery of the rides and diversions of the amusement park become dark and unplaceable, like traces of forgotten dreams.

Peter Fischli  David Weiss – Should I paint a pirate ship on my car with an armed figure on it holding a decapitated head by the hair? – London

Peter Fischli David Weiss
Visible World, 1987–2000
15 light tables with 3000 slides (each 2 x 2 3/4 inches)
Length 28 m

Details
Peter Fischli  David Weiss – Should I paint a pirate ship on my car with an armed figure on it holding a decapitated head by the hair? – London

Peter Fischli David Weiss
Visible World, 1987–2000
15 light tables with 3000 slides (each 2 x 2 3/4 inches)
Length 28 m

Details
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Fotografias (2005) draws on the world of trash culture, quoting the aesthetics of amusement parks and their promotional signage or decorated carousels. Exhibited on tables, the 10x15cm black-and-white photographs follow in the spirit of Fischli Weiss’s canonical work Visible World (1987–2000). The images in Fotografias alter the stridently colorful, large-format iconography of the amusement parks, focusing on surreal or grotesque details, and displaying them as small-format, black-and-white prints. The once exuberant, lurid imagery of the rides and diversions of the amusement park become dark and unplaceable, like traces of forgotten dreams.

Peter Fischli  David Weiss – Should I paint a pirate ship on my car with an armed figure on it holding a decapitated head by the hair? – London

Peter Fischli David Weiss
Untitled (Series Fotografias), 2005
12 tables each containing groups of 3 x 15 black/white photographs on white cardboard
10 × 15 cm (size of photograph)
80 × 66.5 cm (size of mount)
4 × 6 inches (size of photograph)
31 1/2 × 26 1/8 inches (size of mount)

Peter Fischli  David Weiss – Should I paint a pirate ship on my car with an armed figure on it holding a decapitated head by the hair? – London

Peter Fischli David Weiss
Untitled (Series Fotografias), 2005
(detail)

Peter Fischli  David Weiss – Should I paint a pirate ship on my car with an armed figure on it holding a decapitated head by the hair? – London

Peter Fischli David Weiss
Untitled (Series Fotografias), 2005
(detail)

Peter Fischli  David Weiss – Should I paint a pirate ship on my car with an armed figure on it holding a decapitated head by the hair? – London

Peter Fischli David Weiss
Untitled (Series Fotografias), 2005
(detail)

Details
Peter Fischli  David Weiss – Should I paint a pirate ship on my car with an armed figure on it holding a decapitated head by the hair? – London

Peter Fischli David Weiss
Untitled (Series Fotografias), 2005
12 tables each containing groups of 3 x 15 black/white photographs on white cardboard
10 × 15 cm (size of photograph)
80 × 66.5 cm (size of mount)
4 × 6 inches (size of photograph)
31 1/2 × 26 1/8 inches (size of mount)

Peter Fischli David Weiss
Untitled (Series Fotografias), 2005
12 tables each containing groups of 3 x 15 black/white photographs on white cardboard
10 × 15 cm (size of photograph)
80 × 66.5 cm (size of mount)
4 × 6 inches (size of photograph)
31 1/2 × 26 1/8 inches (size of mount)

Peter Fischli  David Weiss – Should I paint a pirate ship on my car with an armed figure on it holding a decapitated head by the hair? – London

Peter Fischli David Weiss
Untitled (Series Fotografias), 2005
(detail)

Peter Fischli David Weiss
Untitled (Series Fotografias), 2005
(detail)

Peter Fischli  David Weiss – Should I paint a pirate ship on my car with an armed figure on it holding a decapitated head by the hair? – London

Peter Fischli David Weiss
Untitled (Series Fotografias), 2005
(detail)

Peter Fischli David Weiss
Untitled (Series Fotografias), 2005
(detail)

Peter Fischli  David Weiss – Should I paint a pirate ship on my car with an armed figure on it holding a decapitated head by the hair? – London

Peter Fischli David Weiss
Untitled (Series Fotografias), 2005
(detail)

Peter Fischli David Weiss
Untitled (Series Fotografias), 2005
(detail)

Details
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