Untitled, 2011


For the Venice Biennale 2011, Urs Fischer had a wax copy of the 6.5-meter-high Mannerist sculpture “The Rape of the Sabine Women” by the Flemish-Italian sculptor Giambologna produced in the Kunstgiesserei. The figure on the Piazza della Signoria in Florence was digitalized in an extremely precise manner using the newest optical scanner from Goms. The data was then used to mill a 1:1 model made of polyurethane foam, which Urs Fischer then continued to work on in his studio in New York based on the original. In the Kunstgiesserei St.Gallen, a negative was then made and finally filled with colored wax that imitates the pattern of the marble of the original through and through. A wick system was developed for the interior of the wax sculpture, which then made it possible for the work to be lit like a huge candle. While it burned down over several months in the Venice Arsenale during the course of the Biennale, it changed constantly, became gradually smaller, crumbled away, and finally resulted in a sculpture consisting of only fragments and remains. This work also includes the slightly enlarged sculpture “Rudy”—a portrayal of Urs Fischer’s artist friend Rudolf Stingel that is also made of wax—as well as an office chair from Fischer’s studio. Both of them were positioned next to the Giambologna sculpture and also burned down as a candle.