‹Look Both Ways›: Craig Fisher


20.2.–2.4.05
 
The first exhibition in the New Year is dedicated to the young Briton Craig Fisher (*1976). In his first solo show in Switzerland, he shows the whole spectrum of his artistic producing. The sculptural installations surprise, the imitation of the cartoon world is obvious. Be it oversized bombs, futuristic costumes or his impressive «blood rooms», there is always beside the irony a time-critical statement. He is not only interested in the «fun-culture», but in fact, the discursive conflict with his environment.

The works are complex handmade pieces; the affinity to textiles is always noticeable. In the limits of contemporary fashion, he works with high-tech materials as neoprene, gore-tex, army camouflages, but also leather, velvet and wool.

The installation «Suspicious Circumstances», which already caused a furore in Great Britain, is in the centre of the exhibition in Thun. The exhibition is composed of sculptures, which lay on the ground, remains of a massacre: blood spots and glittering contour drawings – there is no trace of bodies. The scenery appears comic like– but in the head, it establishes directly connections with all the murderous « terribleness», that flicker across the screen in front of our eyes. The belittlement, which is accomplished through the chosen material – glimmer and noble matters- can only belie at the first moment the profundity of the work. Once more, Fisher questions the world- the entire terrorist attacks become abruptly very present – but view through the filter of «innocent» comic aesthetic. An emotional arrangement: absolutely moving with the times.

His wall object «H.A.L.», borrowed from Kubricks «2001», or the over sized «walkie-talkie» can be settled between pseudo-technological science-fiction instruments and toys. The pieces are produced meticulously, gorgeous objects; but without any particular function. «Tools for the Job» speaks a similar language, complex embroidered knives and murder devices become unusable objects, aestheticised sculptures.

A wall abject as a dialog of two speech balloons and drawings on paper, round off the exhibition. The latter are sketches for the installations/objects, otherwise filigree produced, mostly multi-coloured, autonomous works.

As the title ‹Look Both Ways› indicates, his works have to been read in different manners – as amusing comic adaptations, but simultaneously also as a critical examination of our time.

 

Bernhard Bischoff, February 2005

 

 

Statement Craig Fisher, London:

 

«Aspiring to boyhood fantasies I often use iconography associated with traditionally ‘masculine’ pursuits such as the soldier, astronaut or sports hero. I make installations, imaginary beings or objects that are androgynous inform. The work is not specifically identifiable as any one thing, be it object or image, craft/fashion or art, furniture or sculpture, gay or straight, happy or sad. The work operates in an indefinable space, somewhere between reality and fantasy. I attempt to question the boundaries between the public and private self. I’m interested in playing with people’s assumptions about what I’m allowed to be as a man and an artist and how masculinity is defined. By suggesting an inferred narrative in the production of each installation and by using references from fashion, film and high and low art I create a space in which the viewer is able to imagine and project their own private fantasies through the exploration of the objects. By making sculpture that refers to clothing / furniture the work looks as if it should be worn or used, but this is never possible, in actual fact the sculptures are always dysfunctional. The use of particular utilitarian fabrics highlights this contradiction and it is also essential in creating a juxtaposition between the exclusivity of high fashion and the generic, the everyday. Material, colour, and texture are all integral to the work as a way of blurring the boundaries between the sculptural and pictorial. I want to create something that is familiar and comforting in form as well as strange and perverse. This play off of boundaries is fascinating in its potential to reveal disquieting».