Artist Talk with Simon FujiwaraFondazione Prada Instagram Wednesday ,3 March, 7 pm (CET) www.instagram.com/fondazioneprada
What would you like to know about Who The Bær?
Tune in to attend the digital preview of the exhibition Who The Bær on Wednesday 3 March at 7 pm (CET) live on the @fondazioneprada Instagram account
Simon Fujiwara will unveil his site-specific project and, in conversation with author Barbara Casavecchia will go through the key themes that inspired the fantastical character of Who The Bær.
Simon Fujiwara at Fondazione PradaFondazione Prada, Milan March 2 – September 27, 2021 www.fondazioneprada.org
For this new site-specific project conceived for the ground floor of the Podium in the Milan premises of Fondazione Prada, Simon Fujiwara introduces audiences to the fairytale world of Who the Bær, an original cartoon character that inhabits a fantasy universe created by the artist. Who the Bær is a cartoon bear without a clear character – “Who” as they are known, seems to have not yet developed a strong personality or instincts, they have no history, defined gender or even sexuality. Who the Bær only knows that they are an image, and they seek to define themselves in a world of other images.
The world of Who the Bær is a flat, online world of pictures, yet one full of endless possibilities. Who the Bær can transform or adapt into any image they encounter, taking on the attributes and identities of those depicted within the image – human, animal or even object. In this sense the fantastical world of Who the Bær is a world of freedom: Who can be whoever they wish to be, Who can transcend time and place, Who can be both subject and object. Yet Who the Bær may never be able to overcome their one true challenge – to become anything more than just an image.
Who the Bær’s fantasy adventures are presented at Fondazione Prada in a giant labyrinth made almost entirely from cardboard and recyclable materials and forming the shape of a giant bear. As visitors travel through the bear-like installation, they are introduced to the basic design and formation of the cartoon character of Who the Bær before embarking on a series of adventures that follow Who the Bær around their fairytale world. Told through drawings, collages, sculptures and animations, we witness Who the Bær in their perennial quest for an authentic self.
Inspired by the tradition of fairytales as well as modern animation movies, Fujiwara uses the mechanisms of fantasy to explore some of the joys and traumas we face as a society possessed with images and spectacle.
The exhibition is completed by a publication, which is part of Fondazione Prada’s Quaderni series. Conceived as an illustrated story book, it includes a conversation with the artist.
The adventures of Who the Bær can be experienced on Instagram following their official account @whothebaer.
"The Challenge: We are in this together" – Esther Schipper for The New Institute
For its December newsletter, titled "The Challenge: We are in this together", The New Institute asked Esther Schipper – among other thinkers and practitioners – to share her insights and analysis on the current global pandemic. For the occasion, Esther Schipper selected artworks by the gallery artists showing that the questions of viruses and pandemics have been among us for a long time.
Art in 2020 - Live Broadcast by Art Basel with Simon Fujiwara and Ryan GanderTuesday, September 22, 2020, 10 AM ET / 4PM CET / 10HKT www.artbasel.comOVR:2020, which opens on September 23, is dedicated to art made in 2020. On the eve of its launch, Art Basel and the Financial Times invite leading artists to discuss their new work, and how their practice has responded to these extraordinary times.Moderator Jan Dalley, Arts Editor, Financial Times, will be joined by Sadie Barnette, Ryan Gander, Ebony G. Patterson and Simon Fujiwara.Register here!
State of the Arts with Simon FujiwaraBundeskunsthalle, Bonn June 16 – August 16, 2020 www.bundeskunsthalle.de
The exhibition presents one of the most intriguing artistic phenomena of our time: the fusion of the visual and the performing arts. Today, more often than not, a visit to an exhibition does not merely offer new visual impressions. Instead, it is a more comprehensive experience that involves all the senses. Artists combine video, performance, dance, language and music, creating intermedial works. In some cases, this results in giving the visitors the opportunity to give up the distanced position of the viewer and become part of the work.
State of the Arts brings together the work of 16 artists, among them Simon Fujiwara and his multi-sensory Empathy I. Developed in close collaboration with a company that produces theme park rides, Empathy I is a 5d simulator that takes audiences on a journey back into the ‘real world’ on a physically immersive ride through the world of Youtube.
More information HERE.
Simon Fujiwara wins Audience Award at Preis der Nationalgalerie Shortlist Exhibition 2019Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin
Esther Schipper congratulates Simon Fujiwara who has won the Audience Award for the Preis der Nationalgalerie shortlist exhibition at the Hamburger Bahnhof,
For the Preis der Nationalgalerie 2019, Simon Fujiwara presented a compilation of five works that stem from his investigation of contemporary mass phenomena and their economic, socio-political, and media aspects. The very different works illustrate the extent to which these phenomena have an emotional component of their own. For instance, the video installation Likeness (2018) focuses on the figure of Anne Frank and her media-effective staging and instrumentalization.
Simon Fujiwara at the 16th Istanbul BiennialVarious venues, Istanbul September 14 – November 10, 2019 www.bienal.iksv.org
It’s a Small World, Simon Fujiwara's project for the 16th Istanbul Biennial, began after he discovered a large quantity of semi-ruined figures of pop icons in the trash of an attractions’ manufacturer near Istanbul. He salvaged these figures and combined them with thirteen architectural miniatures. A prison revolving around Batman’s the Joker’s face, a museum built among the ruins of Disney characters or a hospital buried in the legs of Iron Man. In these sculptural works, the functions of everyday civic architecture are blended with symbols from the mass-entertainment world. Fujiwara’s miniature city draws attention to the ways in which fantasy and escapism have bled into the core structures of our everyday lives, often masking the brutal pragmatism of globalized capitalism.
More information on the 16th Istanbul Biennial can be found HERE.
Simon Fujiwara at ARKEN Museum of Modern ArtARKEN Museum of Modern Art, Ishøj August 31 – February 2, 2020 www.uk.arken.dk
From August 31 Simon Fujiwara's Joanne is on view for the first time in Denmark at ARKEN Museum of Modern Art.
Presented as film and image environment, Joanne depicts the many faces of Joanne Salley, Simon Fujiwara’s former secondary school teacher. Winner of the 1998 Miss Northern Ireland beauty pageant, artist, teacher and champion boxer, Joanne Salley had a formative influence on Fujiwara as a scholarship student at the prestigious Harrow School for boys in Britain. Several years later, she became the victim of a tabloid newspaper scandal after students discovered and circulated topless photographs of her that had been taken privately. The ongoing media campaign that followed destroyed her career and public image.
In 2016, Fujiwara and Salley embarked on the production of a short film that aimed, through the use of advertising and marketing techniques, to restore her image.
More information HERE.
Simon Fujiwara at Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für GegenwartHamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin August 16, 2019 – February 16, 2020 www.preisdernationalgalerie.de
Simon Fujiwara has been nominated for the Preis der Nationalgalerie 2019 by an international jury. The museum prize is awarded every two years and pays tribute to artists under 40 who live and work in Germany. The four artists will be presented in a joint exhibition at the Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin from August 16, 2019 to February 16, 2020. All four artists show spatial ensembles in which they combine existing and new works. The tonality and handwriting of the four spatial work presentations is very different; what they have in common is an explicit reference to aspects of our contemporary European society.
More information on the prize can be found HERE.
Simon Fujiwara, Ryan Gander, Liam Gillick, Pierre Huyghe and Anri Sala at MO.COMO.CO. – Montpellier Contemporain, Hôtel de Collections, Montpellier June 29 – September 29, 2019 www.moco.art
Coinciding with the inauguration of the Hôtel des Collections on June 29, the MO.CO. unveils the first public presentation of masterpieces from the Ishikawa Collection. This outstanding and relatively recent private collection begun in 2011 by Yasuharu Ishikawa, a Japanese entrepreneur born in 1970 at Okayama, is characterized by exceptional coherence and a Japanese feel that derives primarily from its emphasis on minimal, understated, subtle forms.
The exhibition Intimate Distance, curated by Yuko Hasegawa, Artistic Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (MOT) features nearly 30 works by artists such as Simon Fujiwara, Ryan Gander, Liam Gillick, Pierre Huyghe, and Anri Sala.
Simon Fujiwara shortlisted for the 2019 Preis der Nationalgalerie
Esther Schipper congratulates Simon Fujiwara, shortlisted for the 2019 Preis der Nationalgalerie.
Established in 2000 by the Freunde der Nationalgalerie, the Preis is awarded biennially and promotes young, important positions in contemporary art that reflect the internationality and vitality of the art scene in Germany. The four shortlisted artists will present their work in a joint exhibition in fall 2019 at Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin.
Simon Fujiwara’s work takes multiple forms including theme park style rides, wax figures, robotic cameras, ‘make-up’ paintings and short films that address the complexity and contradictions of identity in a post-internet, hyper-capitalist world. Fujiwara often investigates themes of popular interest such as tourist attractions, famous icons, historic narratives and mass media imagery and has collaborated with the advertising and entertainment industries to produce his work in a process he describes as ‘hyper-engagement’ with dominant forms of cultural production. His work can be seen as a complex response to the human effects of image fetish, technology and social media on his generation.
Is This Tomorrow? with Simon FujiwaraWhitechapel Gallery, London February 14 – May 12, 2019 www.whitechapelgallery.org
Opening on February 14, Is This Tomorrow? takes as its model Whitechapel Gallery’s landmark exhibition This Is Tomorrow (1956), which featured 37 British architects, painters and sculptors working collaboratively in small groups.
Whitechapel Gallery has invited ten groups of artists, architects and other cultural practitioners, including Simon Fujiwara, to explore the potential of collaboration and offer their visions of the future.
Read more about the exhibition here.
Esther Schipper announces the representation of Simon FujiwaraJanuary 10, 2018
Esther Schipper is pleased to announce the representation of Simon Fujiwara. Over the past decade, Fujiwara (born 1982 in London, lives and works in Berlin) has become known for his staging of large, complex exhibitions that explore the deeply rooted mechanisms of identity construction for both individuals and societies. Addressing the inherent contradictions of image and narrative making – from social media and self-presentation to marketing and history formation – Fujiwara revels in the complexity and paradox of our simultaneous quest for fantasy and authenticity. Crossing multiple media, from sculpture and installation to video and painting and mining worlds as diverse as advertising and archaeology, Fujiwara's works are a constant reportage on the real world sources from which they draw inspiration. However, rather than simply presenting commentary, the artist creates a unique universe of his own – one that is populated with challenging and often absurd new narratives that are as intellectually rigorous as they are emotionally stimulating.