Urs Fischer likes big gestures, and this year (April 21 to Aug. 19) MOCA is giving him the space to make them, devoting part of its Grand Avenue and Geffen buildings to a midcareer survey of the Swiss-born, New York-based artist. The show's curator, Jessica Morgan of the Tate Modern in London, gives us an early sense of what to expect.
How did you come to curate this show for MOCA?
Through my relationship with Urs. We've been doing projects now for 10 years or so. The first one was a big show in Iceland about [the influence of] Dieter Roth, the Icelandic/Swiss/German artist who used foodstuff, cheese, things that decay....
But now Urs' work is at a different point — I think it's shifted since he moved to New York and has more of a pop influence. What fascinates me about Urs' work is that it's so informed, not just art but architecture, design, music, so plugged in on many levels.
Urs' work can be slippery or even shape-shifting — unpredictable visually. Do you see any strong through-lines connecting his work?
One is this fascination with the partial image — whether it's an occluded photograph like his movie star head shots or the mirror boxes where the images on top are deformed by this ricocheting of projections. This imagery has very much to do with the culture we live in, the imagery we quickly consume online or urban environments with their constant movement between advertising imagery, billboards and people on the streets.