The machine perpetuates its binary beat.
—Federico García Lorca, “Ode to Salvador Dalí” (1926)
Play is the origin of fiction.
Gagosian is pleased to present PLAY, conceived by Urs Fischer with choreography by Madeline Hollander.
At the intersection of sculpture, behavior, and choreography, PLAY is an arena of chance encounters where visitors are invited to interact with nine office chairs that seem to have lives of their own.
Play, a ritual older than humankind, has set rules that distinguish it from reality, but it has no clear aim or value other than itself. Instead, it is merely a feedback loop, a push/pull of energy, bound by time and place. Accordingly, the chairs seem to behave in such ways as to belie some level of predictability—only to then debunk the illusion.
The more the viewer seeks to control the chairs, the clearer it becomes that they are not pawns or pets but participants. By attempting to understand the choreography, we actually create it, enacting the very patterns that we wish to decode.
Urs Fischer and choreographer Madeline Hollander speak with novelist Natasha Stagg about the ways in which choreographic experimentation and an interest in our ability to project emotion onto objects led to the one-of-a-kind project PLAY.
Who is choreographing whom?
PLAY, currently on view at Gagosian on West 21st Street in New York, is a work by Urs Fischer in which nine office chairs move through the gallery and interact with visitors. Artist and choreographer Madeline Hollander worked with Fischer and a team of programmers and animators to create various gestures, movements, and behavior sequences for the chairs. Gagosian’s Angela Brown sat down to talk with Hollander about this process.
Gagosian Quarterly Winter 2022
The Winter 2022 issue of Gagosian Quarterly is now available, featuring Anna Weyant’s Two Eileens (2022) on its cover.
Urs Fischer: Denominator
Urs Fischer sits down with his friend the author and artist Eric Sanders to address the perfect viewer, the effects of marketing, and the limits of human understanding.
Urs Fischer: Lovers
The exhibition Urs Fischer: Lovers at Museo Jumex, Mexico City, brings together works from international public and private collections as well as from the artist’s own archive, alongside new pieces made especially for the exhibition. To mark this momentous twenty-year survey, the artist sits down with the exhibition’s curator, Francesco Bonami, to discuss the installation.
Awol Erizku and Urs Fischer: To Make That Next Move
On the eve of Awol Erizku’s exhibition in New York, he and Urs Fischer discuss what it means to be an image maker, the beauty of blurring genres, the fetishization of authorship, and their shared love for Los Angeles.
June 24–30, 2020
Urs Fischer mines the potential of materials—from clay, steel, and paint to bread, dirt, and produce—to create works that disorient and bewilder. Through scale distortions, illusion, and the juxtaposition of common objects, his paintings, sculptures, photographs, and large-scale installations explore themes of perception and representation while maintaining a witty irreverence and mordant humor.
Photo: Chad Moore
August 20–October 29, 2022
Gagosian at Marciano Art Foundation, Los Angeles