Swiss perspectives in 10 languages

Artist David Weiss dies

Swiss artist David Weiss of the duo Fischli/Weiss has passed away at age 65 at his home in Zurich. Weiss, who had been suffering from cancer since last September, was considered one of the world’s top contemporary artists.

The Matthew Marks gallery in New York, which represents the duo in the United States, confirmed his death on Friday. Weiss trained as a sculptor in Zurich and Basel.

Fischli and Weiss, who began collaborating in 1979, are best known for their 1987 experimental film, The Way Things Go (“Der Lauf der Dinge”).

It shows a chain reaction of objects in a warehouse, about 100 feet long, that includes a tire rolling down a series of ramps, a ladder being knocked down, a candle resting on wheels that light a fuse that leads to an explosion, and so on.

The film lasts nearly 30 minutes, much of it waiting for something to happen.

Besides films, the duo also produced huge photos, sculptures, art books and quirky video installations.

Much of their fame stemmed from their humour and the parody contained in their work. They were awarded the top prize at the Venice Biennale in 2003 for a video installation projecting more than a thousand apparently nonsense questions on a wall.

German publication “manager magazin” placed the duo this month in 26th  position of its latest ranking of the world’s top 100 artists.

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here . Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR