For his new show at Sant’Andrea de Scaphis, Urs Fischer presents Bliss, a single large-scale sculpture. Almost three meters tall it depicts the bust of a woman whose face is turned towards the altar, occupying the center of the 8th century deconsecrated church.
Bliss is realised in plasticine, a sensitive material more malleable than clay and easy to imprint and manipulate. The work is destined to be progressively transformed by viewer interventions, as the public is free to remodel the white surface of the sculpture by shaping it and unveiling its psychedelic interior.
The ecstatic expression of the woman, with her closed eyes and mouth slightly open in a soft smile, conveys well being to whomever is looking at her, almost an invitation to participate. Her shoulders emerge from a low plasticine pedestal upon which visitors can climb, physically becoming part of the art work.
As in numerous past works, Fischer concentrates his attention on the creative and destructive process, and on the transformation of materials. Unlike his previous sculptures in clay or his wax portraits, destined to an inexorable destruction, Bliss presents itself as an open image which can be constantly redefined and regenerated. Each alteration marks a new phase – no intervention is definitive and each gesture is potentially reversible.
Gavin Brown’s enterprise, Rome
Sant’Andrea de Scaphis
Through November 11
© Urs Fischer. Courtesy of the artist and Gavin Brown’s enterprise, New York/Rome.
Ph. Stefan Altenburger