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Having exhibited three times at the Venice Biennale, with works in the most prestigious art institutions in the world, a Swiss-born artist Urs Fischer returns to the Modern Institute with a new spectacular show, Maybe, developed for the Glasgow International.

Fischer is internationally recognised for his aversion to the traditional art media and experiments with materials not usually associated with art, and not expected to be found in a gallery space. Often surprising, sometimes even shocking, like the Untitled (Bread House) 2004-5, his interests oscillate around the ideas of spontaneous creation and its degradation over time.

The room in the Modern Institute is vast and upon entering it on the opening night, it was first hard to determine what the room full of people came to see. Where is the art? That became clear once I got a chance to squeeze through the crowd and lay my eyes on two snails moving across the gallery floor. Someone behind me raised a doubt about animal rights, but the closer one gets to them, the more it becomes apparent that they are mechanically-powered. That is all. Snails on a walk. Never having seen any of Fischer’s works, I was amazed. Two artificial moving snails were not something I expected.

As interesting as the snails were, it was also interesting to observe the audience, mesmerised by two manmade snails. Fischer’s work brings into the gallery a sense of familiarity, which is shared among the participants of the experience.

By including only two small pieces of an artwork in a large white-cube type of an exhibition space, it might seem that Fischer’s work fits into the main themes of this year’s Glasgow International, as his installation explores the ideas of time, process and uncertainty.

Additional dates:

Urs Fischer: Maybe

The Modern Institute, Aird’s Lane

20 April – 25 August 2018


By Maria Cynkier

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