History (Never) Repeats Itself

A relatively small-format, square volume with a hardcover proposes an inviting interplay of text and images, and a novel approach to Peter Fischli and David Weiss’s installation Haus, which was built several times between 1987 and 2018. The first section contains an extended essay by emeritus Zurich art historian Stanislaus von Moos, who along with Peter Fischli is also responsible for the book’s concept. The asymmetrical layout leaves space at the right-hand edge of each page for up to three reference illustrations, which are complemented by black bars to create identical squares. Some illustrations appear again, enlarged and in a different sequence, in the image section, which presents almost 200 photographs individually, one to a page, leaving two white margins either to the left and right or at top and bottom. The directory that follows sheds light on the origins of the diverse material, which in addition to a work history of Fischli / Weiss also opens up architectural and art-historical contexts: Max Bill, Hans Fischli, Alison and Peter Smithson and others. The image editing is outstanding, and the historical perspective is underscored by the book’s format, which recalls publications from the heyday of Swiss design.

Peter Fischli, David Weiss, Zürich
NORM, Zürich
DZA Druckerei zu Altenburg GmbH, Altenburg (DE)
Buchhandlung Walther König, Köln (DE)