Lutz & Guggisberg, ‘Alchemist (Alchemist) ’, 2014, GEMS AND LADDERS

Lutz & Guggisberg present a collection of six charms – five in solid gold, and one gilt silver – that make single pendants on a chain. Each charm is a tiny figure derived from a 3D scan of one of the artists in a costume that has featured in their performance work, embodying the characters of either a Physicist (Physiker), Alchemist (Alchemist), Astronomer (Astronom), Juggler (Gaukler), Philosopher (Philosoph) or Little Pope (Päpstchen). The scan results were further sculpted in wax, so that several of the figures encounter (relatively) huge objects, like Surrealist embellishments: the mountain climber now carries a lump of rock, or the hipster hides under a horse costume, for example. Some seem to be weighed down by these additions; they enhance others. Lutz & Guggisberg compare the transformations to Kafka’s story of a man’s metamorphosis into a giant beetle. Kafka’s protagonist becomes the object of his family’s disgust, but the artists’ figures may be empowered or freed by the changes they have undergone.

About Lutz & Guggisberg

Since 1996, collaborators Andres Lutz and Anders Guggisberg have created their own world through interconnected works in a variety of mediums, including installation, sculpture, video, and painting. Calling to mind the famous Swiss partnership of Peter Fischli and David Weiss, the Swiss pair creates work with a wry sense of humor that hint at something darker beneath. Wordplay and self-consciously retro allusions are often found in their work, in pieces like Bibliothek (2000-), a growing library of over 2,000 fake books, and Fünfminutenhaus (Five Minute House), a collection of modernist furniture swiftly assembled from Styrofoam. Their interventions are open-ended, with the interpretation left ambiguous. “Our work is just like an offer to the people who come to see it,” Lutz has said.

Swiss, 1968 and 1966, Wettingen, Switzerland and Biel, Switzerland, based in Zurich, Switzerland