Andreas Fischer | the Head of the Clock
KÖNIG GALERIE | Dessauerstrasse | 11.1.–8.2.2014
Press Release:

It is with great pleasure that KÖNIG GALERIE presents Andreas Fischer’s first solo exhibition at the gallery.

Andreas Fischer’s machines are wonderful contraptions. In contrast to run-of-the-mill machines, which are destined to serve a practical end and facilitate everyday life, Fischer’s machines turn their purpose into its opposite – instead of offering solutions, they pose questions. Dancing, leaping and singing, they propel objects out of their day-to-day, humdrum routine. Now they turn round and round in circles, now they speak to us, and not infrequently they repeat themselves, compulsively, again and again. Often, they fail; at times they don’t react at all – it is only concealed motion sensors that turn them into unexpectedly living creatures. Their verbal wit often reveals itself to be profound seriousness.

In the title of his latest exhibition in the Museum Ludwig, Cologne, “Your Time Is My Rolex”, Fischer admitted in all irony that time was his capital. For his works, time is fundamental: after all, not only creating them but also viewing and appreciating them require time. Only in the course of time is it possible to narrate the “inside stories” which Fischer is concerned with – one’s own finitude, one’s own inadequacy.

This, his first exhibition at KÖNIG GALERIE, refers to time in its very title: the “Head of the Clock”, with its connotations of the “face of the grandfather clock”, its “brainbox” as it were, can only refer to the artist himself, who plays with the cogs and wheels and so shifts and displaces time. The clockwork mechanism can thus be seen as a symbol of Fischer’s art. Visible and concealed cogs are the engine of his electro-mechanical machinery; objects swinging to and fro, pendulum-like, give the rhythm – “tick-tock”.

Specially for the current exhibition the artist has created, among other things, two new machines entitled “Spezi” und “Richter”. In the work “Spezi” [‘Buddy’], the protagonists are two cleaning appliances. One of them, in its former life, was destined to gather up dry dust, the other to wipe with a damp cloth – the ideal household combination. And so a voice declares from the wings, “The two of us are something really special”, “Absolutely, utterly special”, and allows no trace of doubt to creep in: “After all, it wasn’t our idea”. What begins as a whispered conversation between lovers degrades into aggressive demands: “That’s the only way of looking at it”, and, even more forcibly, “Come on, just admit it!” Yet the “artificial wiping limb” and the “artificial vacuuming limb” are linked by a home-made hinge-like mechanism. The “wiping limb” swings, pendulum-like, to and fro, takes a breather and sets off again. In Southern German dialect, the word ‘Spezi’ denotes a very close friend – although it is a term both affectionate and brusque at one and the same time.

In the work “Richter” [‘Judge’] the chair for a child’s desk hangs upside down from the ceiling, while the voice in the background describes the way of all things, underscored by a fear-instilling “sound collage”: “The upright, the uprighted, the upright gait, up-right, the righted sight of the righteous, the just-right way of sighting the world ...”. While ventilators continuously produce wind, a vacuum cleaner suddenly switches itself on, turning now to the one, now to the other side, struggling for air, robbing the beholder of breath. Be it upright, ad-justed or just, this work is without doubt a political work about power and justice.

Andreas Fischer’s machines embody the very opposite of perfection, perhaps the opposite of the future. They do not attempt to anticipate things to come, but to bring back to life things past and passé, the worn-out, the frail. More human than this, machines can hardly be.Text: Paola Malavassi.

Andreas Fischer (*1972) lives and works in Dusseldorf where he did his masters as a student of Georg Herold at the Kunstakademie in 2003. Since then he had solo exhibitions at Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2012); Galerie Vera Gliem, Cologne (2011); Kunstverein Bonn (2009) and Art Cologne (2007). His works have been presented at group exhibitions at Kunstverein Hamburg (2013); Martha Herford, Germany (2012); Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2010); Kunst im Tunnel (KIT), Dusseldorf (2007) and Ars Electronica, Linz, Austria (2005). Fischer received grants and fellowships by the Kunststiftung NRW, the Kunstfond Bonn, the Peill-Stiftung Düren and a residency at Schloss Ringenberg. His works are part of institutional collections such as “Kunst aus NRW”, Kornelimünster, Aachen and Museum Ludwig, Cologne.