The people's pottery: Urs Fischer's public clay making takes Moscow

This summer Moscow’s Garage Museum of Contemporary Art is hosting the largest socially-engaged work of art in the Russian capital’s history, by Swiss neo-Dadaist sculptor Urs Fischer
This summer Moscow’s Garage Museum of Contemporary Art is hosting the largest socially-engaged work of art in the Russian capital’s history, by Swiss neo-Dadaist sculptor Urs Fischer
(Image credit: TBC)

Today (June 10) marks the unveiling of the largest socially-engaged work of art in Moscow’s history. But that wasn’t the intent of artist Urs Fischer with his new show at the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in the Russian capital.

'It just happened to be so,' the Swiss-born, neo-Dadaist sculptor tells Wallpaper*. 'My goal in creating this work had nothing to do with size.'

He is referring to the latest edition of his 'YES' project, poised outside the museum in Moscow’s Gorky Park, whereby he invites the public to fashion their own clay sculptures. 

The outdoor installation will be on view through 21 August and is a part of 'Small Axe,' a survey of works by Fischer that marks the Garage's first anniversary and responds to the Rem Koolhaas-designed museum through the artist’s signature cheekiness. Fischer will manipulate museumgoers’ sense of perception through his work, like small sculptures that show a wilted flower in a vase and a rat playing in a piano. A life-sized candle will be lit daily, capturing the intimate exchange between a seated couple. Pictures of Fischer's garden in Los Angeles, which he painted over before enlarging the final product, will also be on display.

Above all, Fischer hopes that the largest iteration thus far of the interactive 'YES' project will bring people of all walks of life together. 'The project is focused on collaboration and communication between different people who probably would have no other chance to meet,' explains Fischer. 'At Garage Square you can see couples, friends, children and adults, tourists and locals creating something together.'

The largest iteration of Fischer’s ’YES’ project yet will see museumgoers create a landscape of clay sculptures that will metamorphose over the course of the show

The largest iteration of Fischer’s ’YES’ project yet will see museumgoers create a landscape of clay sculptures that will metamorphose over the course of the show

(Image credit: TBC)

clay pineapple

Hundreds of sculptures that grow to massive proportions or crumble to nothing, rising as clumps and clusters or presenting themselves to our eyes as interesting individual pieces

(Image credit: TBC)

a girl making something out of clay

The interactive installation will be on view at Moscow’s Gorky Park until 21 August

(Image credit: TBC)

INFORMATION

’Small Axe’ by Urs Fischer will be on view at the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art through 21 August 21. For more information, visit the museum’s website (opens in new tab)