New York

Urs Fischer, PLAY, 2018, nine chairs, electric motors, electronics, sensors, software, fiberglass, lithium-ion batteries. Installation view. Photo: Chad Moore.

Urs Fischer

Gagosian | 522 West 21st Street

Urs Fischer, PLAY, 2018, nine chairs, electric motors, electronics, sensors, software, fiberglass, lithium-ion batteries. Installation view. Photo: Chad Moore.

For those of us who work in offices, the very sight of a swivel chair can be enough to launch a raft of anxieties. So the sight of nine of them, seemingly gifted with independent life and, worse still, attempting to interact with viewers like something out of Disney’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (1940), was uniquely alarming. For his installation PLAY, 2018, Urs Fischer worked with artist and choreographer Madeline Hollander—plus a crew of animators and programmers—to produce furniture that wheels around the gallery, responding to body heat and motion in such a way that the viewer and the viewed end up determining each other’s trajectories. “The armrests and headrests don’t move,” Hollander explained in an issue of Gagosian Quarterly, the gallery’s magazine, “so all you have are five wheels, the rotation of the base, the angle of the seat, speed, and the rate of acceleration.

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