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Born: 1946 (Fischli) & 1952 (Weiss), Zürich, Switzerland
Live and Work: Zürich
Working in a wide range of media, including photography, sculpture, video, film, and installation, the collaborative artists Peter Fischli (at left) and David Weiss use ordinary objects and materials to infuse a childlike sense of wonder into the banality of everyday life. A team since 1979, they employ deceptively amateurish materials and methods in works unified by philosophical questioning, an exploratory playfulness, and a persistent, wry sense of humor. In Untitled (2005) the artists meticulously recreated items from what might be a studio workshop scene, all in polyurethane—for example, a dusty couch, planks of wood, a plastic gas tank, workmen's boots, and a paper plate with peanuts. These hand-carved objects, deliberately yet deceptively arranged to seem authentic, offer a steadfast commentary on the potential for everyday objects to achieve pure sculptural form. Using radically different media, An Unsettled Work (1987–2004) depicts a series of strange, kitschy images projected in double exposure on a screen. The result is an extended sequence of uncanny images wherein playful turns to haunting in an eerie specter.