Nach Jugendstiel kam Roccoko
Electric motor, wire, carbon rod, elastic band, monofilament, empty cigarette pack
400 cm (157 1/2 in.) Variable height
As though battered around by a whirlwind, the light object flutters around in the air in one of the Palazzo Grassi’s most stately rooms. The circular, mechanical trajectory taken by the empty, crinkled pack of Camel Lights reveals the presence of a motorised arm hanging from the ceiling, which leads the installation’s dance.
The work's simple materials and mechanical process contrast with its title, which has a learned tone. But the appearance is short-lived: Nach Jugenstil kam Roccoko ("After Jugendstiel came Roccoco") misrepresents the progression of art history, betraying the installation’s ironic nature. The combination of subversive humour and "poor" materials is characteristic of Urs Fischer's work, which mixes traditional and surrealist creations.
An installation raising the humble consumable to the rank of a poetic work, Nach Jugendstil kam Roccoko by Urs Fischer is in the Pinault Collection. It was first exhibited in 2007 during the "Sequence 1" show at the Palazzo Grassi.