Urs Fischer

Money Bowl, c. 1999

Exhibiting 03 October – 14 December at Site Gallery

Intended to function in the domestic world, Money Bowl enacts an ironic comic gesture on the value we place in things and how materials evade the temporary socio-political assertion of what they are worth. The premise of exchange is central to the piece in both the inherent purpose of Money Bowl and the means by which it found its current owner. Created in the late 90s, the artwork was given to fellow artist Simon Bill as a gift, reflecting the currency of exchange between artists. The artwork has a relationship value rather than simply relying on the art world’s market valuation. The piece was designed to simply sit in the hallway by the door; on returning from travelling you would throw in your old coins to retrieve them next time the need arises. Useful becomes mixed with defunct, and the whole system of exchange remains in flux. Meanwhile, the unglazed pottery contrasts with the coins referencing the humble materiality of things. They disintegrate and lose their value. Temporary material worth casts them as almost tragic, honest or humble in relation to the coins; again raising questions about the value we place in things.

Urs Fischer was born in Switzerland and lives and works in New York. His work is included in many important public and private collections worldwide. Recent major solo exhibitions have been held at the New Museum, New York, Kunstahlle Wien, Vienna and MOCA, Los Angeles. His work has been presented in three Venice Biennales, 2003, 2007, and 2011.

With thanks to Simon Bill and Sadie Coles.

  • Urs Fischer image (Money Bowl) Money Bowl, c. 1999