Peter Fischli and David Weiss

★★★★☆

On until 3 February 2024

Shortly after they met, Fischli and Weiss adopted a Bear and a Rat as their alter egos. Suspended from the ceiling on a giant mobile cradle, these figures greet visitors even outside the gallery. Indoors, a satirical film reminiscent of a Fassbinder working-class drama follows the animals slacking about in a collector’s villa and in the gallery where they discover the dealer’s dead body. In Fischli and Weiss’ trademark slapstick humour, this nearly turns the show into an art world whodunit.

Nearly, because bears and rats are always sock puppets. A wall’s worth of diagrams in which they half-seriously attempt to solve this murder mystery and overcome once and for all the art world’s internal contradictions do nothing of the sort because the artists are themselves the perps. What could be a police procedural turns into a drinking game of mock-Foucauldian, mock-Marxist power analysis. Questions become slogans, evidence commodity. 

Forty years have passed since these events and it is easy to forget that artists, quite literally, already know where the bodies are buried. Fischli and Weiss’ animal intrigue, like all art, lets them admit this and still walk off into the sunset without facing the consequences.


notes and notices are short and curt exhibition reviews. Read more:

Justin Caguiat, Dreampop at Modern Art ★★★★☆

Justin Caguiat

Dreampop
Dreampop

★★★★☆

This is the sort of exhibition that makes a critic question the quality of their judgment.

The last train after the last train at Public ★★★☆☆

The last train after the last train
The last train after the last train

★★★☆☆

The failed magic tricks in Lyndon Barrois Jr.’s canvases would hang in the final scene of Chinese Roulette in which everyone turns against everyone.

Robert Ryman, Line at David Zwirner ★★★☆☆

Robert Ryman

Line
Line

★★★☆☆

The artist’s signature becomes a distress call.

Bhenji Ra, Biraddali Dancing on the Horizon at Auto Italia ★☆☆☆☆

Bhenji Ra

Biraddali Dancing on the Horizon
Biraddali Dancing on the Horizon

★☆☆☆☆

Such work was once a mere grift. Now, it is an outright stitch-up.

Sin Wei Kin, Portraits at Soft Opening ★★☆☆☆

Sin Wei Kin

Portraits
Portraits

★★☆☆☆

This exhibition combines the most vulgar of all art school tropes: juvenile narcissism, NFT kitsch, and mindless referentialism.

Nanténé Traoré at Sultana and Amanda Wilkinson ★★☆☆☆

Nanténé Traoré

She says it's the high energy
She says it's the high energy

★★☆☆☆

Bodies clash with lights in front of Traoré’s Narcissus camera.

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