The Eye-Opening Moment
Last winter, Urs Fischer dug a 38-by-16-foot crater, nine feet deep, extending almost to the walls of the Gavin Brown Gallery. It was a transforming and shocking sight. Standing on the fourteen-inch ledge of concrete floor surrounding the piece induced thoughts of earthworks, minimalism, chaos, and hell. Fischer had torn up a gallery, forcing us to look into his own “hole.” But presciently, it was just as much a precipice for us and for the art world, since this was going to be the state of the world for the year to come: We’d all be poised on the edge—politically, psychically, financially, and aesthetically. The stark gesture was simultaneously surreal, loving, violent, and audacious. Fischer shattered perceptual space, destabilized our relationship to art and art galleries, overturned ideas about the market, and made us understand that all that is solid melts into air, that something momentous was coming.