a group of ephemeral wax sculptures by swiss artist urs fischer is slowly melting away inside the bourse de commercepresented in the rotonda, the monumental heart of the parisian museum, the sculptures compose ‘untitled’ (2011), one of fischer’s most popular installations (see designboom’s previous coverage here). the ensemble of candles includes a life-size replica of giambologna’s ‘abduction of the sabine women’, and an effigy of artist rudolf stingel contemplating seven different chairs. all sculptures were lit on the first day of the exhibition, and will continue burning until they melt into pools of wax by the end of this year.urs fischer ephemeral wax sculptures are burning inside the bourse de commerce in parisurs fischer, ‘untitled’, 2011-2020 (detail) © urs fischer, tadao ando architect & associates, niney et marca architectes, agence pierre-antoine gatier

all courtesy of the artist and bourse de commerce — pinault collection

all photos by stefan altenburger, unless stated otherwise

 

 

shown for the first time in france, urs fischer’s ‘untitled’ (2011) was redesigned to suit the scale of the bourse de commerce’s rotonda: a ‘public square’ covered with a dome, reaching almost 40 meters in height. the life-size replica of giambologna’s ‘abduction of the sabine women’ (1579-1582) rests on a plinth in the center of the space, bringing to mind images of italian piazzas. seven different chairs in wax surround the famous sculpture, ranging from an african stool to a banal plastic chair or an airline seat. an effigy of artist rudolf stingel, urs fischer’s friend and peer, overlooks the entire space and completes the installation.urs fischer ephemeral wax sculptures are burning inside the bourse de commerce in parisurs fischer, ‘untitled’, 2011-2020 (detail) © urs fischer

 

 

the seats dialogue with the iconography of the large marouflaged canvas on the dome above them. as noted in the exhibition’s text, ‘symbols of contemporary globalization, they respond to the representations of inter-continental commerce and trade in the late 19th century, marked by the colonial ideology and popular culture of the time.’ fischer chose to model four of the chairs from the collections of the musée du quai branly – jacques chirac: a mandé seat from mali, an ashanti chair from ghana, a bwa seat from burkina faso, and an oromo chair from ethiopia. meanwhile, the airplane seats and garden chair ‘evoke travel and the standardization of our contemporary world.’urs fischer ephemeral wax sculptures are burning inside the bourse de commerce in paris
urs fischer, ‘untitled’, 2011-2020 (detail) © urs fischer, tadao ando architect & associates, niney et marca architectes, agence pierre-antoine gatier

photo by florent michel

 

 

‘untitled’ is a monument to impermanence, transformation, the passage of time, metamorphosis, and creative destruction. before being lit, this ensemble of candles encapsulates mastery, realism, verticality, and virtuosity. over the course of the exhibition, as the candles burn, these values ​​are inverted by the workings of chance and entropy: the sculpture becomes informal, even formless. the installation lasts as long as the candles continue to burn, and will slowly melt away by december 31, 2021.urs fischer's ephemeral wax sculptures are burning inside the bourse de commerce in parisurs fischer, ‘untitled’, 2011-2020 (detail) © urs fischer, tadao ando architect & associates, niney et marca architectes, agence pierre-antoine gatier urs fischer's ephemeral wax sculptures are burning inside the bourse de commerce in parisurs fischer, ‘untitled’, 2011-2020 (detail) © urs fischer, tadao ando architect & associates, niney et marca architectes urs fischer ephemeral wax sculptures are burning inside the bourse de commerce in parisurs fischer, ‘untitled’, 2011-2020 (detail) © urs fischer, tadao ando architect & associates, niney et marca architectes

photo by florent michel urs fischer ephemeral wax sculptures are burning inside the bourse de commerce in parisurs fischer, ‘untitled’, 2011-2020 (detail) © urs fischer, tadao ando architect & associates, niney et marca architectesurs fischer's ephemeral wax sculptures are burning inside the bourse de commerce in parisurs fischer, ‘untitled’, 2011-2020 (detail) © urs fischer, tadao ando architect & associates, niney et marca architectes

photo by florent michel urs fischer ephemeral wax sculptures are burning inside the bourse de commerce in parisurs fischer, ‘untitled’, 2011-2020 (detail) © urs fischer, courtesy galerie eva presenhuber, zurich urs fischer's ephemeral wax sculptures are burning inside the bourse de commerce in parisurs fischer, ‘untitled’, 2011-2020 (detail) © urs fischer, courtesy galerie eva presenhuber, zurich urs fischer's ephemeral wax sculptures are burning inside the bourse de commerce in parisurs fischer, ‘untitled’, 2011-2020 (detail) © urs fischer, courtesy galerie eva presenhuber, zurich urs fischer's ephemeral wax sculptures are burning inside the bourse de commerce in parisurs fischer, ‘untitled’, 2011-2020 (detail) © urs fischer, tadao ando architect & associates, niney et marca architectes urs fischer's ephemeral wax sculptures are burning inside the bourse de commerce in parisurs fischer, ‘untitled’, 2011-2020 (detail) © urs fischer, tadao ando architect & associates, niney et marca architectes

photo by florent michel

 

 

exhibition info:

 

name: untitled (2011)

artist: urs fischer

location: bourse de commerce — pinault collection, paris, france

duration: until december 31, 2021