ICA x Artek
21 different questions (50 in total)
Bespoke cotton t-shirt with woven label and temporary hem
Underside of stool – sticker of question hand-signed and numbered by Peter Fischli
Signed photographic certificate
Fischli/Weiss instruction manual
Am I suffering from good taste?
Am I too good to work?
Can I re-establish my innocence?
Can I twist and turn everything the way I want?
Could we complain about most things?
Do opinions come on their own?
Do we go through a wall when we fall asleep?
Does a ghost drive my car at night?
Is it dangerous to dream of another life all the time?
Is my brain a poorly furnished apartment?
Is my ignorance a roomy cave?
Is my indecisiveness proof of my free will?
Must I be ashamed of having no opinion about most things?
Should I buy a big hammer?
Should I go to another city and rent an apartment under a false name?
Should I paint a pirate ship on my car with an armed woman on it holding a decapitated head by the hair?
What’s in a dog that enjoys lying in the sun?
Why am I always right?
Why does it take the earth exactly one year to circle around the sun?
Why does the world afford the luxury of having me?
Would anybody look for me if I disappeared?
Fischli/Weiss’s 21 Questions (2021) is the second in an ongoing series of artist customisations of the iconic Stool 60, designed in 1933 by Artek co-founder Alvar Aalto. This new edition follows Barbara Kruger’s 2019 Untitled (Kiss), which sold out within weeks of its launch.
‘Since our first solo show in London at the ICA, I always went back to this great place for seeing shows, watching a film programme, buying a book or two or having a good British version of a cappuccino. Of course, making an edition for supporting this outstanding institution was a great pleasure and honour. I hope people will like it.’
21 Questions pairs the timeless stool with a bespoke T-shirt whose labels features 21 selected excerpts from David and Peter's Questions, which was awarded the Golden Lion at the 50th Venice Biennale in 2003.
‘I recalled Peter Fischli and David Weiss’s work Questions (2002–3) during, I believe, the first lockdown, while trying to find an idiom for how we feel in such moments of deep existential crisis: daydreams triggered by seemingly banal questions that drift into the abyss of our own existence, like “What does my soul do when I am at work?” or “Can everything be thought?” Questions that on one hand seem to trace different schools of philosophical thought, and on the other epitomise the fragile delineations between sense and nonsense, life and afterlife. For me, this ICA × Artek edition by Peter Fischli and David Weiss is personal: not only because it speaks to the rupture of the past months, but also because a black T-shirt over an empty modernist stool is also a nod to a lost friend, to the lost lives of the past year and what we might learn from it.’
Peter Fischli (b.1952) and David Weiss (1946–2012) met in 1977 and began their artistic collaboration in 1979. Their work spans a wide range of media, including sculpture, installation, photography and the moving image. Their artwork has been the subject of many prominent solo exhibitions around the world, including shows at Aspen Art Museum in Aspen, USA (2017); the Art Institute of Chicago and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), USA (2017/18); Fondation Beyeler in Riehen, Switzerland (2016); the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa, Japan (2010); Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid, Spain (2009); and the ICA, London (1988); and retrospectives at the Deichtorhallen Hamburg (2008), the Kunsthaus Zürich (2007) and Tate Modern in London (2006). Their major solo show How to Work Better was presented at the Guggenheim in New York in 2016.
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