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Urs Fischer

PLAY with choreography by Madeline Hollander

September 6–October 13, 2018
West 21st Street, New York

Installation video Play Button

Installation video

Installation view Artwork © Urs Fischer. Photo: Chad Moore

Installation view

Artwork © Urs Fischer. Photo: Chad Moore

About

The machine perpetuates its binary beat. 
—Federico García Lorca, “Ode to Salvador Dalí” (1926)

Play is the origin of fiction. 
—Urs Fischer

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.

Installation view, Urs Fischer: PLAY with choreography by Madeline Hollander, Gagosian, West 21st Street, New York, September 6–October 13, 2018.

Play

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?

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.

Anna Weyant’s Two Eileens (2022) on the cover of Gagosian Quarterly, Winter 2022

Now available
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: 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 and Francesco Bonami speaking amidst the installation of "Urs Fischer: Lovers" at Museo Jumex, Mexico City

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, Lion (Body) I, 2022, Duratrans on lightbox, 49 ⅜ × 65 ⅝ × 3 ¾ inches (125.4 × 166.7 × 9.5 cm) © Awol Erizku

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.

News

Photo: Chad Moore

Artist Spotlight

Urs Fischer

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