How do we describe our everyday existence? Colloquially, we might cheekily use the term rat race. In his first US exhibition, “B.A.C.K.,” German-born, Brussels-based artist Peter Wächtler seemed to take up this idiom, presenting a cartoon that addresses the nuanced emotions that shade the experience of daily life and stars a beleaguered, vest-wearing rodent. Untitled, 2013, smartly encodes quotidian routine and the slippages therein with a recursive structuretime may progress, but outfits and countenances don’t.
Set in a stone chambre de bonne with peeling wallpaper and warping floorboardsa red Oriental carpet and a tossed-aside liquor bottle serve as lifestyle indicatorsthe animation shows the stuporous protagonist vacantly performing his everyday “leisure time.” In a sequence about one minute long, the rat lumbers home at night, trips on his rug, and dislodges
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