The point of departure for Simon Fujiwara's new sculpture is a pair of earrings in the shape of two guillotines with the heads of Queen Marie-Antoinette and King Louis XVI hanging from them; the earrings are believed to be made and sold around the time of the French Revolution. Fujiwara has digitally reproduced and enlarged the earrings to create a monumental sculpture printed in 3D and hand-gilded in 23K gold.
For the artist, "The work connects deeply to my ongoing study of human-product-object relations, and the commodification of ‘everything’ that is reaching a peak today. They are a gruesome but glorious reminder of the ways human capitalize and reinvent almost any kind of event but they are also a celebration of the human ingenuity to convert everything into some form of object or celebration, in this case, the perversity of celebrating the fall of a kingdom that was plagued by excess and overspending by making gold earrings."
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.