Memento / Daniel Fischer




polyester, steel, aluminum, rubber, plastic, paint

In the center of the floor of a windowless room, a wheel turns slowly — a simple device that will soon become complex. As the wheel turns, an attached bungee cord gets tighter and tighter, and at intervals of about two minutes, it activates another phase. Sections of the wheel fly outward in a surprising flash of color, the gallery lights are extinguished, a boom sounds and ten lighted words appear on the side walls:


Fischer is influenced by the French mathematician Rene Thom, who theorized that systems in place will be quietly effective, then suddenly break, because of the human frailties expressed in the words on the wall.

The balance between good and bad is fragile. Framed word studies at the far end of the gallery speak to the delicate differences.
Artist Statement
For my project, which I have called Memento, I have used the so-called Zeeman's machine, through which it is possible to give a concrete demonstration of the Theory of Catastrophes. The Theory of Catastrophes concerns systems in which continuous gradual changes in acting forces (in a broader, not only physical sense) cause a sudden great change in the condition of the system. This theory promises to have many potential applications in various real situations in embryology, economics, ecology, psychology, and sociology...

Working on my project I was thinking about various concrete situations which push me to ask basic questions: Why? How is it possible? Why are people doing this? What is the reason? What is the motivation? And what is -or- can be the psychological regulator? (Isn't it culture?) I am trying to find answers on the individual level, knowing how fragile the balance between good and bad... life and death.

My life experience taught me about the natural overlapping of aesthetics and ethics. I believe that art is a sort of message, an infor-mation (ontological information)--but only in a case of a living complexity of the sensory-intuitive and rational-intellectual, as a correctly chosen-discovered medium in relation to the idea.
About the Artist
Daniel Fischer's work has consistently addresses the rupture and fragmentation we experience in our surroundings. He is a painter of intellect, using language in his installation Memento in a way similar to images in his earlier work. 
October 29, 1995 – July 31, 1996
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