CCS Bard Galleries, March 18 – April 15
Artists: Simon Fujiwara, Dawn Kasper
These are not obligations but I want to (a response in two parts) presents works by Simon Fujiwara and Dawn Kasper, artists whose performance-based works utilize personal storytelling as a way to complicate the staged museum environment. By pairing these projects, taken as two parts of a larger whole, the exhibition brings together disparate artistic practices that use theatrical strategies at the forefront of their investigations and position the everyday as a site of inquiry. In the video work of The Mirror Stage (2009-ongoing)performance, Simon Fujiwara restages the artist’s first encounter with an abstract expressionist painting near his hometown at the Tate St. Ives. Fujiwara recounts his unforgettable experience with the work, which led him to pursue a career as an artist and simultaneously reach the epiphany of his own sexual awakening. In the newly commissioned work, BECOME WHAT YOU ARE, Dawn Kasper performs a physical intervention in the gallery. With the aid of props, video, and musical equipment, Kasper transforms the space by creating a sound sculpture that investigates human consciousness. The gallery’s theatrical setting is activated through the energy of the environment, determined by the audience that enters the scene during the artist’s two performances. Remains from the opening performance on March 18th at 2:30 pm include a sculptural installation in the space. During the closing performance on April 10th at 5 pm, the residue of the installation is repurposed and recontextualized.
Both Fujiwara’s and Kasper’s works expose hidden realities in engaging with narrative structures and shifts in fictionalized characters and personae. Foregrounding questions around autobiography and fiction, the artists further complicate the exhibition scene of the CCS Bard Galleries and challenge the contours of their host institution. As such, their constructed tellings create new truths, ones which offer the audience an alternative frame through which to read the story.
Curated by Suzy M. Halajian
Simon Fujiwara (b.1982 London currently lives and works in Berlin) weaves his personal history through performance-based lectures, published fiction, theatre pieces, and sculptural installations that spiral far away from their autobiographical origins. Playing himself as a series of characters – failed playwright, struggling erotic novelist, or internet sleuth – Fujiwara weds fact and fiction in an art practice rich with storytelling.
His work has been presented in group exhibitions internationally such as 29th Sao Paulo Biennal, Brazil (2010); 53rd Venice Biennale, Italy (2009); Manifesta 8, Murcia, Spain (2010); Performa 11 Biennal, New York (2011). Recent solo exhibitions include Gallery Gio Marconi, Italy (2010), Art Statements, Art Basel 41, Basel (2010), Hamburger Kunsthalle, Germany (2010) and forthcoming at Tate St.Ives, UK (2012). In 2010 he was recipient of both the prestigious Baloise Prize, Art Statement, Art Basel 41, and the Frieze Fair Cartier Award.
Dawn Kasper is an active Los Angeles based performance artist. Kasper has performed and exhibited internationally at galleries and institutions including the Migros Museum Für Genenwartskunst in Zurich, LISTE Basel, the J. Paul Getty Museum, Art Basel Art Positions Miami, LACMA, LACE, The Hammer Museum, MOCA, Newman Popiashvili Gallery New York, Anna Helwing Gallery, Circus Gallery, Leo Koenig Inc., Projekte New York, Art in General New York, Copy Gallery Philadelphia, and David Castillo Gallery Miami. Kasper is currently one of the acting co-directors of the performance and experimental art venue Human Resources in Los Angeles.