The Art Of Foundry Switzerland 2014 – 86min.
Feuer & Flamme
St. Gallen, Switzerland. Behind the brick walls of a local foundry, workers manufacture the monumental and iconoclastic works of celebrated artists like Urs Fischer, Peter Fischli, Mariana Castillio Deball, Paul McCarthy, Alex Hanimann and Hans Josephsohn. The work of this team is so valued by the artists that the foundry has been overwhelmed to the point where some of the production has been outsourced to Shanghai.
A giant rooster is being crafted near a huge woman in silver chrome, whose empty eyes pose a problem. Farther away, a sick artist stuck in bed comments on one of his works: a woman who is also lying down and banged up. The Art of Foundry offers an unpredictable and surprising journey into the little-known world of metal and flames where works of art are born – like the famous blue rooster by Katarina Fritsch that presides over Trafalgar Square. In the modern world, it is not the artists themselves that labor over the physical creation of their art, but real artisans doing the grunt work. Iwan Schumacher’s documentary visits the Kunstgiesserei St. Gallen, where dozens of men and women literally make the dreams of the world’s crazier artists come true. A task that is difficult, secret and almost mystical, best summed up by one of the artisans: “It took the artist 15 seconds to think up this lump; we’ve been working on the sculpture for two years.”