Peter Fischli and David Weiss
Peter FischliSwiss (Zurich, Switzerland, 1952)
David WeissSwiss (Zurich, Switzerland, 1946 - 2012)
One of the most enduring and endearing aspects of the work of Swiss artists Peter Fischli and David Weiss is how it exhibits their fondness for everyday things.
The video Büsi (Kitty) features a close-up of a cat lapping milk in a domestic environment. It was originally exhibited on an oversized video screen in New York's Times Square as part of a public art program, The 59th Minute: Video Art on the Times Square Astrovision. Given that this public space is usually reserved for slick commercials and news programming, it was an incongruous setting for a video of a cat deciding to pause for something to drink.
While the lush, high-definition quality of the Büsi video suggests a commercial for a pet product, the lack of a soundtrack, deliberate overexposure, and slapdash framing give the work the look of an amateur video of a family pet. By simply changing the frame of reference, by restaging the commonplace within the landscape of art and/or commerce, Fischli and Weiss make the ordinary seem extraordinary.