Story By: James King, Sub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash
A globetrotting snowman who has travelled the world including appearances in New York, Chicago and San Francisco has now gone into retirement living in a fridge in Switzerland.
The award-winning “Snowman” artwork was created by Peter Fischli and his artist colleague David Weiss who was sadly not around to see the snowman go into retirement as he died in 2012. (https://bit.ly/3mnYExU)
The former Swiss duo, who were known by their artistic name as Fischli/Weiss, created the ‘Snowman’ in 1987 for the Romerbrucke thermal power station in the city of Saarbrucken in the German state of Saarland, where the sculpture was maintained using energy from the power station.
The smiling snowman figure has travelled a long way throughout the years – it has been in Chicago, San Francisco and in the garden of the Museum of Modern Art New York (MoMA) where it was given ‘The Artist’s Choice’ title in 2018.
Now the ‘Snowman’ has found a permanent home in the park of the Beyeler Foundation museum in the Swiss municipality of Riehen.
At the heart of the snowman are three copper spheres placed inside a freezer powered by solar energy – as the frost gradually accumulates on the spheres, the snowman grows in size and then it needs to be defrosted so that it shrinks back to a smaller size.
His smile must be carved in each day so that his expression does not fade amongst the layers of ice.
According to the museum, in the midst of the climate debate, the image of complete dependence on energy has acquired a new, cryptic dimension.
While a melting snowman could be seen as a metaphor for global warming, Fischli/Weiss’s frosty ‘Snowman’ is kept alive through electrical consumption, ultimately contributing to carbon emissions and global warming.
David Weiss, who did not live to see the snowman pensioned off, died aged 66 of cancer ending the duo that was one of the most enduring contemporary art partnerships.
They won many awards and their best-known film was The Way Things Go (1987) that was even enjoyed outside of artistic circles, and they won awards including the Golden Lion prize at the 2003 Venice Vienalle for Questions as well as other awards and honours.
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