Andreas Fischer
Your Time Is My Rolex

Novem­ber 30, 2012 – March 17, 2013

“The raven is smok­ing. The raven smokes all night. It smokes and smokes and smokes,” trum­pets An­dreas Fisch­er’s ki­net­ic sculp­ture Raben­rohr (Raven’s Mouth­piece) while it knocks im­pa­tient­ly on the floor and moves on the spot. Raben­rohr

The Mu­se­um Lud­wig sur­veys Fisch­er’s me­chan­i­cal works in the ex­hi­bi­tion Your Time Is My Rolex. The artist, who was born in 1972, us­es mo­tors and mi­cro­pro­ces­sors in com­bi­na­tion with found ma­te­rials and ob­jects, in­clud­ing armchairs and work­men’s tools, to con­struct sculp­tures that move and speak. De­priv­ing the com­po­nents of their orig­i­nal pur­pose, he in­cor­po­rates them in­to new con­texts that grant them a dif­fer­ent, nar­ra­tive sig­ni­f­i­cance. In the form of hu­mor­ous me­chan­i­cal par­o­dies of hu­man be­ings, the ap­para­tus­es act, com­plain, and ac­cuse, ob­ses­sive­ly telling fruit­less ex­is­ten­tial tales or en­gag­ing in fu­tile dia­logues re­peat­ed ad nau­seam. The machines re­peat their mo­tions and routines in end­less loops, nev­er break­ing through in­to some­thing dif­fer­ent, and con­s­tant­ly reit­er­ate their words, whether in solil­o­quies or dia­logues, with­out reach­ing a mean­ing­ful con­clu­sion. Wirds Bald (Get a Move-On) blares out the words “It’ll get bet­ter, it won’t get bet­ter,” as a shoot­ing ap­para­tus re­peat­ed­ly takes aim at an uni­den­ti­fi­able tar­get but al­ways jams be­fore fir­ing. Em­bodied in a ma­chine, the all-too-hu­man na­ture of the sce­nario has an unsettling ef­fect on the spec­ta­tor, gen­er­at­ed by an ap­par­ent de­ter­min­ism that, through rep­e­ti­tion, arous­es a de­sire to break out of the vi­cious cir­cle.

At first sight Fisch­er’s work is about au­to­ma­tion and mech­aniza­tion. But at a deep­er lev­el his ma­chine sculp­tures ad­dress so­ciopo­lit­i­cal and per­so­n­al pat­terns of be­havior and thought. They do not sat­is­fy a need to mar­v­el at ex­treme de­for­ma­tions of na­ture wrought by hu­man hands. Nei­ther do they seek to pro­mote, though their me­chan­i­cal in­n­er life, a crit­i­cal or utopian view of the re­la­tion­ship be­tween hu­mankind and the ma­chine world. In­stead, their cen­tral con­cern is with phys­i­cal and psy­cho­log­i­cal con­s­traints, with cul­tu­r­al and so­cial norms defined as in­te­gral to psy­cho­log­i­cal and so­cial sta­bil­i­ty, but al­so iden­ti­fied as a source of so­cial and per­so­n­al con­flict. The machines ful­fill their mis­sion un­ceas­ing­ly—­for machines must work, and they must car­ry on work­ing, even if not in the way in­tend­ed. The ex­hi­bi­tion is cu­rat­ed by Jas­mi­na Merz. It is ac­com­panied by the ca­t­a­logue An­dreas Fisch­er: In der Wolle.


Ex­hi­bi­tion Cu­ra­tor: Jas­mi­na Merz