I hope you’re prepared to delve again into Coarse’s animal fable based sculpture series. Serving as a follow-up to their 2015 Permanent Guest (see review here), this stunning Do Not Disturb set by artists Mark Landwehr and Sven Waschk continues the story of Fish. Or, perhaps more accurately, ends it.
Fish was introduced with Permanent Guest, wherein he was being escorted across land by Raccoon. Diligently being pulled in his bathtub container, this innocent looking scene took a dark turn when the associated story was read… The naive Raccoon having been tricked into service by Fish with the promise of wishes. But, as we can see here, all does not turn out great for Fish.

The History of Do Not Disturb

The original Do Not Disturb sculpture was initially displayed at Coarse’s New York Scratches exhibit at myplasticheart and the duo’s Open Studio LA, both in 2015. Three production set versions were offered for presale in early 2016: the pastel-toned Delusion edition, which most closely resembles the original sculpture from the exhibitions, the lighter-toned Promised Bliss edition, and the sinister shaded Endless Shadows edition.
Before any of these arrived in the hands of collectors, a very limited fourth version was made available as part of the Cold Ways (2016) exhibition at Rotofugi. Called the Cold Ways Collection as a whole, this set featured a glow-in-the-dark version of Do Not Disturb, a laser etched wood crate, two serigraph prints, and a copy of the Cold Ways book. A book which details the entire saga of Raccoon.
Written by Los Angeles-based author Andrew Greenberg, the man who has created the stories that’ve accompanied Coarse releases since 2012, this book is a wonderful collaboration, the merging of sculptural storytelling with long-form fiction. And even though the Do Not Disturb set appears to depict Cat in the aftermath of killing Fish, a reading of the story tells us otherwise. Fish actually meets his demise at the paws of… I won’t spoil it, especially since these vinyl sculpture sets are limited to the Fish and Cat characters.

My Impressions of Do Not Disturb

So, to the matter at hand, let’s really look at this wonderful set. This is the most recent, and most likely final, version of Do Not Disturb. Titled the Ignited edition, this glow-in-the-dark rendition appears very similar to the Cold Ways color scheme. In fact, the only differences I can spot are in the coloration of the bell on the Cat’s collar as well as the feline’s eyes. Moving past these similarities, let’s focus on the actual pieces.

First and foremost, these are truly vinyl sculptures, lacking any points of articulation. The connecting joints between parts being smartly hidden, giving a seamless quality to the finished sculptures. The Cat is beautifully designed, its minimal detailing perfectly capturing everything needed to convey its feline nature. In fact, the most detailed aspect of this piece is the bell, which doubles as a cartoonish depiction of a skull.
But the real standout, to me, is the Fish. The style with which its half eaten nature is revealed, a mixture of ultra clean lines with gruesome details, is enthralling. So much so that it can distract you from the other notable aspects, like the delicate beauty with which the fins are crafted.
And it’s those fins, along with the Fish’s eyes, that solely benefit from the glow-in-the-dark nature here, as opposed to the Cat which is almost completely capable of glowing. And it’s that thoughtful design that really attracted me to this particular version, with Coarse describing it as the light fading from one as it enters the other.
I’m sure this isn’t the last we’ll see of the characters from Cold Ways, as the book is filled with memorable moments from Raccoon’s long journey to try and return home. In fact, during the Cold Ways: Nights that Haunt the Past exhibition, a very special porcelain-like Memento edition of Do Not Disturb was displayed alongside other works inspired by this tale. While both the Going Up, Going Down and Vacancy sculptures are plausible candidates, I suspect that the Raccoon-centric Enjoy Your Stay will be the next piece in the series.

Editions of Do Not Disturb [show]

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