Once Upon a Who?

Simon Fujiwara
January 15 – February 26, 2022

Exhibition view: Simon Fujiwara, Once Upon a Who?, Esther Schipper, Berlin, 2022.

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Exhibition view: Simon Fujiwara, Once Upon a Who?, Esther Schipper, Berlin, 2022.

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Left (wall):

Simon Fujiwara

Once Upon A Who?, 2021

Installation with stop-motion animation

Duration: 4:48 min

 

Right (wall):

Simon Fujiwara

Who‘s Bigger Splash? (Pre-Image Submersion), 2021

Colored paper collage

135 x 120 cm (unframed)

143,8 x 128,8 cm (framed)

 

Exhibition view: Simon Fujiwara, Once Upon a Who?, Esther Schipper, Berlin, 2022

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Simon Fujiwara

Who‘s Bigger Splash? (Pre-Image Submersion), 2021

Colored paper collage

135 x 120 cm (unframed)

143,8 x 128,8 cm (framed)

 

Exhibition view: Simon Fujiwara, Once Upon a Who?, Esther Schipper, Berlin, 2022

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Left:

Simon Fujiwara

Becoming Who? (A New York Times Bestseller), 2021

Book, artificial leather in Plexiglas vitrine

28,2 x 16,4 x 3,4 cm (book)

52,2 x 37,6 x 26,4 cm (vitrine)

 

Center:

Simon Fujiwara

Who‘s Binary Gender Experience?, 2021

Pastel, pencil and inkjet prints on paper, framed in color frames

29,7 x 21 cm each (20 parts) (unframed)

49,3 x 37 x 3,2 cm each (20 parts) (framed)

 

Right:

Simon Fujiwara

Self Help Who? (Book Stack), 2021

Colored paper collage

60 x 47 cm (unframed)

66,6 x 53,6 cm (framed)

 

Exhibition view: Simon Fujiwara, Once Upon a Who?, Esther Schipper, Berlin, 2022

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Left:

Simon Fujiwara

Who‘s Bigger Splash? (Pre-Image Submersion), 2021

Colored paper collage

135 x 120 cm (unframed)

143,8 x 128,8 cm (framed)

 

Center:

Simon Fujiwara

Who‘s Original Sin?, 2021

Inkjet print, Acetate paper, fabric, aluminum cans, pastel and charcoal

170 x 82,5 cm each (2 parts) (unframed)

179 x 91,5 x 4,2 cm each (2 parts) (framed)

 

Right:

Simon Fujiwara

Who‘s in the Clouds?, 2021

Collage of inkjet prints and colored paper

68 x 95,5 cm each (2 parts) (unframed)

75 x 102,5 x 3,5 cm each (2 parts) (framed)

 

 

Exhibition view: Simon Fujiwara, Once Upon a Who?, Esther Schipper, Berlin, 2022

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Floor:

Simon Fujiwara

Who‘s Transformation (Pistol Butterfly), 2021

Custom made glass vitrine with plinth, modified ready-made, aluminum cans, colored paper, 

metal chain

52 x 35 x 35 cm (sculpture)

100 x 36,7 x 36,7 cm (plinth)

 

Wall:

Simon Fujiwara

Who‘s Transformation? (Butterfly Catcher I), 2021

Inkjet print, colored paper, charcoal, aluminum cans

60 x 47 cm each (2 parts) (unframed)

66,6 x 53,6 cm each (2 parts) (framed)

 

Exhibition view: Simon Fujiwara, Once Upon a Who?, Esther Schipper, Berlin, 2022

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Exhibition view: Simon Fujiwara, Once Upon a Who?, Esther Schipper, Berlin, 2022

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Exhibition view: Simon Fujiwara, Once Upon a Who?, Esther Schipper, Berlin, 2022

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

 

Exhibition view: Simon Fujiwara, Once Upon a Who?, Esther Schipper, Berlin, 2022

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Exhibition view: Simon Fujiwara, Once Upon a Who?, Esther Schipper, Berlin, 2022

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Exhibition view: Simon Fujiwara, Once Upon a Who?, Esther Schipper, Berlin, 2022

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Left:

Simon Fujiwara

Who‘s Royal Whoness? (Family Portrait I), 2021

Pastel, pencil and inkjet prints on paper, framed in color frames

Set of 8 framed works arranged as a question mark

29,7 x 21 cm each (8 parts) (unframed)

34 x 25,2 x 2,8 cm each (8 parts) (framed)

 

Center:

Simon Fujiwara

The Who in Who‘s Who? (Icons I), 2021

Pastel, pencil and inkjet prints on paper, framed in color frames

Set of 8 framed works arranged as a question mark

29,7 x 21 cm each (8 parts) (unframed)

34 x 25,2 x 2,8 cm each (8 parts) (framed)

 

Right:

Simon Fujiwara

Who‘s in Whollywood? (Identity Anxiety), 2021

Pastel, pencil and inkjet prints on paper, framed in color frames

Set of 8 framed works arranged as a question mark

29,7 x 21 cm each (8 parts) (unframed)

34 x 25,2 x 2,8 cm each (8 parts) (framed)

 

Exhibition view: Simon Fujiwara, Once Upon a Who?, Esther Schipper, Berlin, 2022

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Left:

Simon Fujiwara

Self Help Who? (Book Stack), 2021

Colored paper collage

60 x 47 cm (unframed)

66,6 x 53,6 cm (framed)

 

Center:

Simon Fujiwara

Who‘s Childhood?, 2021

Sculptural video installation: cardboard, electrical tape, Plexiglas, antique tripod, projector, projection screen, animation, color, sound 

20 frames: pastel, pencil, inkjet prints on paper

164 x 73 x 73 cm (projector on tripod) 

Duration: 2:27 min

21 x 29,7 cm each (15 parts) (unframed)

29,7 x 21 cm each (5 parts) (unframed)

24,5 x 33,2 x 3,3 cm each (15 parts) (framed)

33,2 x 24,5 x 3,3 cm each (5 parts) (framed)

 

Right:

Simon Fujiwara

Who‘s Original Sin?, 2021 (detail)

Inkjet print, Acetate paper, fabric, aluminum cans, pastel and charcoal

170 x 82,5 cm each (2 parts) (unframed)

179 x 91,5 x 4,2 cm each (2 parts) (framed)

 

Exhibition view: Simon Fujiwara, Once Upon a Who?, Esther Schipper, Berlin, 2022

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Left:

Simon Fujiwara

Who Discovered Whotankhamun? I, 2021

Sculpture: skeleton model, found objects, 

cardboard, tape

Collages: inkjet prints, pastel, charcoal, parchment paper, faux leather

166 x 43,2 x 29,6 cm (sarcophagus)

60 x 70 cm each (2 parts) (collages, unframed)

66,7 x 76,7 x 4 cm (collages, framed)

 

Right:

Simon Fujiwara

Property of Who? (Parthenon Frieze I), 2021

Inkjet prints, pastel and charcoal

90 x 198 cm (unframed)

90 x 130 cm (unframed)

98 x 206 x 4,7 cm (framed)

98 x 138 x 4,7 cm (framed)

 

Exhibition view: Simon Fujiwara, Once Upon a Who?, Esther Schipper, Berlin, 2022

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Left:

Simon Fujiwara

Voodoo Who? (from the collection of Humboldt Who), 2021

Styrofoam, nails, fabric

60 x 30 x 20 cm (sculpture) (approx.)

77,5 x 50 x 50 cm (vitrine)

92,5 x 34 x 34 cm (pedestal)

170 x 50 x 50 cm (overall)

 

Center (back):

Simon Fujiwara

Who‘s Original Sin?, 2021

Inkjet print, Acetate paper, fabric, aluminum cans, pastel and charcoal

170 x 82,5 cm each (2 parts) (unframed)

179 x 91,5 x 4,2 cm each (2 parts) (framed)

 

Right:

Simon Fujiwara

Return to Who? (from the collection of Humboldt Who), 2021

Sculpture: Styrofoam, string, vitrine

Collages: pastel, pencil, inkjet prints on paper

47,3 x 20 x 20 cm (stand); 75,3 x 50 x 50 cm 

(vitrine); 94,7 x 34 x 34 cm (pedestal); 170 x 50 x 50 cm (overall); 80,2 x 60,2 x 3,5 cm each (collage) (2 parts) (framed)

 

Exhibition view: Simon Fujiwara, Once Upon a Who?, Esther Schipper, Berlin, 2022

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Left:

Simon Fujiwara

Return to Who? (from the collection of Humboldt Who), 2021

Sculpture: Styrofoam, string, vitrine

Collages: pastel, pencil, inkjet prints on paper

47,3 x 20 x 20 cm (stand); 75,3 x 50 x 50 cm 

(vitrine); 94,7 x 34 x 34 cm (pedestal); 170 x 50 x 50 cm (overall); 80,2 x 60,2 x 3,5 cm each (collage) (2 parts) (framed)

 

Right:

Simon Fujiwara

Who Discovered Whotankhamun? I, 2021

Skeleton model, found objects, cardboard and tape, two collages of inkjet prints, pastel, charcoal, parchment paper and faux leather

166 x 43,2 x 29,6 cm (sarcophagus)

60 x 70 cm each (2 parts) (collages, unframed)

66,7 x 76,7 x 4 cm (collages, framed)

 

Exhibition view: Simon Fujiwara, Once Upon a Who?, Esther Schipper, Berlin, 2022

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Simon Fujiwara

Return to Who? (from the collection of Humboldt Who), 2021

Sculpture: Styrofoam, string, vitrine

Collages: pastel, pencil, inkjet prints on paper

47,3 x 20 x 20 cm (stand); 75,3 x 50 x 50 cm 

(vitrine); 94,7 x 34 x 34 cm (pedestal); 170 x 50 x 50 cm (overall); 80,2 x 60,2 x 3,5 cm each (collage) (2 parts) (framed)

 

Exhibition view: Simon Fujiwara, Once Upon a Who?, Esther Schipper, Berlin, 2022

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Left (wall):

Simon Fujiwara

Double Tongue Pokey Poke for Who? I, 2021

Neon tubing

89 x 151 cm

 

Center (floor):

Simon Fujiwara

Who‘s Modernized? (Small Beast), 2021

Painted steel

77,4 x 77 x 56,3 cm (sculpture)

90 x 80 x 70 cm (plinth)

 

Right (wall):

Simon Fujiwara

Who‘s Whoggenheim? (Bilbao I), 2021

Pastel, pencil and inkjet prints on paper, maquette of cardboard, wood, foam panel and faux leather in wall mounted Plexiglas vitrine

48 x 35,7 cm each (8 parts) (framed)

48 x 75 cm each (2 parts) (framed)

65 x 52,4 x 22 cm (1 vitrine)

 

Exhibition view: Simon Fujiwara, Once Upon a Who?, Esther Schipper, Berlin, 2022

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Left (wall):

Simon Fujiwara

Who‘s Guitar? (Winter, 2021), 2022

Repurposed cardboard packaging, string and glue in wall mounted Plexiglas vitrine

106 x 71 x 20,8 cm (vitrine)

 

Center (floor):

Simon Fujiwara

Who‘s Modernized? (Small Beast), 2021

Painted steel

77,4 x 77 x 56,3 cm (sculpture)

90 x 80 x 70 cm (plinth)

 

Right (wall):

Simon Fujiwara

Double Tongue Pokey Poke for Who? I, 2021

Neon tubing

89 x 151 cm

 

Exhibition view: Simon Fujiwara, Once Upon a Who?, Esther Schipper, Berlin, 2022

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Exhibition view: Simon Fujiwara, Once Upon a Who?, Esther Schipper, Berlin, 2022

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Exhibition view: Simon Fujiwara, Once Upon a Who?, Esther Schipper, Berlin, 2022

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Left (wall):

Simon Fujiwara

Only Whoman? (A musical extravaganza!), 2022

Colored paper collage

120 x 57 cm (unframed)

127 x 64 x 3,5 cm (framed)

 

Center (floor):

Simon Fujiwara

Who‘s Only Whoman?, 2021

Sculpture: wood, cardboard, paper, adhesive tape, gears, motors, magnets, cabling, metal, Plexiglas, ready-made, pedal switch

Plinth: wood, Plexiglas, speakers, amplifier, media player, servo box, wiring, lock, switch

Duration of song: 1:16 min.

235 x 162 x 75 cm (sculpture)

12,5 x 14,5 x 27 cm (pedal switch)

 

Right (wall):

Simon Fujiwara

Aladdin Who Makes a Wish?, 2021

Pastel on paper

86,5 x 46,5 x 3,5 cm (framed)

 

Exhibition view: Simon Fujiwara, Once Upon a Who?, Esther Schipper, Berlin, 2022

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Left (wall):

Simon Fujiwara

Only Whoman? (A musical extravaganza!), 2022

Colored paper collage

120 x 57 cm (unframed)

127 x 64 x 3,5 cm (framed)

 

Center (floor):

Simon Fujiwara

Who‘s Only Whoman?, 2021

Sculpture: wood, cardboard, paper, adhesive tape, gears, motors, magnets, cabling, metal, Plexiglas, ready-made, pedal switch

Plinth: wood, Plexiglas, speakers, amplifier, media player, servo box, wiring, lock, switch

Duration of song: 1:16 min.

235 x 162 x 75 cm (sculpture)

12,5 x 14,5 x 27 cm (pedal switch)

 

Exhibition view: Simon Fujiwara, Once Upon a Who?, Esther Schipper, Berlin, 2022

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Simon Fujiwara

Who‘s in the Clouds?, 2021

Collage of inkjet prints and colored paper

68 x 95,5 cm each (2 parts) (unframed)

75 x 102,5 x 3,5 cm each (2 parts) (framed)

 

Exhibition view: Simon Fujiwara, Once Upon a Who?, Esther Schipper, Berlin, 2022

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Simon Fujiwara

Who‘s Transformation (Pistol Butterfly), 2021 (detail)

Custom made glass vitrine with plinth, modified ready-made, aluminum cans, colored paper, 

metal chain

52 x 35 x 35 cm (sculpture)

100 x 36,7 x 36,7 cm (plinth)

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Simon Fujiwara

Who‘s Transformation? (Butterfly Catcher I), 2021 (details)

Inkjet print, colored paper, charcoal, aluminum cans

60 x 47 cm each (2 parts) (unframed)

66,6 x 53,6 cm each (2 parts) (framed)

 

Exhibition view: Simon Fujiwara, Once Upon a Who?, Esther Schipper, Berlin, 2022

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Simon Fujiwara

Self Help Who? (Book Stack), 2021

Colored paper collage

60 x 47 cm (unframed)

66,6 x 53,6 cm (framed)

 

Exhibition view: Simon Fujiwara, Once Upon a Who?, Esther Schipper, Berlin, 2022

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Simon Fujiwara

Property of Who? (Parthenon Frieze I), 2021 (details)

Inkjet prints, pastel and charcoal

90 x 198 cm (unframed)

90 x 130 cm (unframed)

98 x 206 x 4,7 cm (framed)

98 x 138 x 4,7 cm (framed)

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Simon Fujiwara

Property of Who? (Parthenon Frieze I), 2021 (details)

Inkjet prints, pastel and charcoal

90 x 198 cm (unframed)

90 x 130 cm (unframed)

98 x 206 x 4,7 cm (framed)

98 x 138 x 4,7 cm (framed)

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Simon Fujiwara

Who Discovered Whotankhamun? I, 2021 (detail)

Sculpture: skeleton model, found objects, 

cardboard, tape

Collages: inkjet prints, pastel, charcoal, parchment paper, faux leather

166 x 43,2 x 29,6 cm (sarcophagus)

60 x 70 cm each (2 parts) (collages, unframed)

66,7 x 76,7 x 4 cm (collages, framed)

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Simon Fujiwara

Double Tongue Pokey Poke for Who? I, 2021

Neon tubing

89 x 151 cm

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Simon Fujiwara

Cinderella Who on Their Way To...?, 2022

Pastel on paper

46,5 x 86,5 x 3,5 cm (framed)

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Simon Fujiwara

Who‘s Only Whoman?, 2021

Sculpture: wood, cardboard, paper, adhesive tape, gears, motors, magnets, cabling, metal, Plexiglas, ready-made, pedal switch

Plinth: wood, Plexiglas, speakers, amplifier, media player, servo box, wiring, lock, switch

Duration of song: 1:16 min.

235 x 162 x 75 cm (sculpture)

12,5 x 14,5 x 27 cm (pedal switch)

 

Exhibition view: Simon Fujiwara, Once Upon a Who?, Esther Schipper, Berlin, 2022

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Once Upon a Who?

Simon Fujiwara
January 15 – February 26, 2022
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Watch our exhibition film here

 

 

Once Upon a Who there was a little bear who’s name was Who the Baer, 

Now Who, as Who was known to be,

Seemed rather ordinary,

Just another Rupert, just another Pooh, 

Who was a nobody, Who was just a ‘who?’

 

Small and white, clean and bright,

Who wore a simple pair of jeans in blue

Jeans like the ones worn by me or worn by you,

So what makes Who special

What makes Who Who?

 

Is it their golden heart that sparkles brightly in the dark?

Is it that crazy tongue Who can’t control, however hard?

Maybe it’s something you can’t see?

Who’s class, Who’s race, Who’s sexuality?

What is Who’s Gender? What is Who’s nationality?

 

Oh, will somebody tell me?

What is Who’s Identity?!

--

Esther Schipper is pleased to present Once Upon a Who?, Simon Fujiwara’s second solo exhibition with the gallery. On view will be multiple new works from the artist’s Who the Bær project presented in a highly inventive range of media ranging from collage, drawing and sculpture to stop-motion animation and animatronic sculpture. In addition, Fujiwara is presenting a “Whotique” in the Esther Schipper Bookstore, a boutique devoted to merchandise from the world of Who, in collaboration with Highsnobiety.

 

 

A large-scale immersive exhibition, Once Upon a Who? highlights the multifaceted development of the original cartoon figure, which Fujiwara created in Spring 2020 and first presented at the Fondazione Prada in Milan in summer of that year. Staged within an exhibition design resembling a museum with different rooms devoted to different chapters of their development, visitors encounter Who the Bær: a bear that seemingly has no race, gender, sexuality or nationality. 

 

In the first room of Fujiwara’s Once Upon a Who?, a stop-motion animation presented in a blue carpeted environment with colorful plush seating, introduces the central themes of the exhibition and the Who the Bær character. Among them are the origin story of the figure and the significance of the characteristics Who has been given; the processes of identity formation, especially regarding gender and race; the effects of mass media, social media, dating apps, and celebrity culture on those processes; as well as cultural appropriation, colonialism and the controversies around stolen artifacts and art. 

 

In the subsequent rooms, these topics unfold in a series of specifically themed spaces. Who’s negotiation of identity is explored in two sections through collages and modified images and objects that combine traditional and contemporary representations of feminine and masculine stereotypes. A sculptural animation, Who’s Childhood?, draws on conventional depictions of early years identity formation and family life. Next, sculptures mimicking cultural artifacts create world history in the image of Who: among them, ancient sarcophagi, pieces of the so-called Elgin marbles, and African and Asian artifacts invoking displays in museums and ethnographic collections, notably Berlin’s controversial, recently opened Humboldt Forum. The adjacent room, the “Whoseum,” features iconic works that reference and remix modern and contemporary artists, from collages that draw on cut-outs by Henri Matisse or Hockney-esque swimming pools, to a small metal sculpture referencing the work of Alexander Calder – all presented with a set of drawings devoted to the Whoggenheim Bilbao. All are Who-ified, so to speak, i.e. given the characteristic silhouette of Who. In the final room, the melancholic chorus of Who's Only Whoman? welcomes visitors. An interactive animatronic sculpture, the robot’s twenty-first-century apparatus has a child-like DIY sensibility that evokes the anachronistic aesthetic of the Wizard of Oz’s Tin Man (1939) and Robby The Robot (1956). 

 

Constantly encountering and performing different identities, we watch Who the Bær as they try, fail, and try again to enact, perform or embody the various lifestyles and identity choices on offer, mostly online. Seen through the distorted lens of a cartoon character, Who the Bær offers a tender but at times disturbing, dada-esque response to a contemporary society possessed with spectacle and identity performance. Nostalgia, anxiety, an inability to commit and a longing for authenticity mark the journey of Who the Baer, a story that seemingly oscillates between the extremes of joy, hedonism and melancholy and loneliness.    

 

In addition to the main exhibition, Simon Fujiwara will present the first Whotique at Esther Schipper Bookstore. Continuing the collaboration with Highsnobiety initiated for Art Basel Miami Beach, the Whotique – a boutique devoted to merchandise from the world of Who – will present a series of Who the Bær related apparel, houseware, and posters that offer gallery visitors the chance to own a piece of the “Whoniverse.”


Follow Who the Bær on Instagram.

 

Press Release EN | DE

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