PRINT February 1994


The Swiss artists Peter Fischli and David Weiss are putterers who make things they needn’t make; items that are usually useful achieve futility in their hands. They are a miniguild, producing an art that goes undercover, that slips by, momentarily undetected in a scan of one’s surroundings. In the summer of 1992, for example, in Schorndorf, south Germany, they took over a prefabricated one-car garage behind an Imbiss Bude (snack shack) in an expanse of farmland. Through a small window one could spy the props of a nondescript existence—a worktable, modest cooking facilities, dog food, a comfortable chair; somebody’s whole world packed into a gray concrete box. There was no sign, no explanation, and only after a long pause did one realize that everything was patiently handmade—a laborious homage to the blindingly familiar.

The occupant of this outbuilding in a pasture was surely a handyman

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