simon fujiwara: studio pieta (king kong komplex)
photograph by lance brewer
courtesy of andrea rosen gallery, new york
© simon fujiwara

 

 

 

simon fujiwara: studio pietà (king kong komplex)
andrea rosen gallery, new york
on now through august 9th, 2013

 

 

with his installation ‘studio pietà (king kong komplex)‘, london-born berlin-based artist simon fujiwara transforms new york’s andrea rosen gallery into a surreal theatre– equally parts photographer’s studio, casting room, interrogation cell, and beirut beach– in an investigation of social and political questions of profiling, exoticism, and identity.

 

the exhibition began as a very personal mission, as fujiwara sought to re-stage a lost childhood photograph of his mother, bikini-clad on a beirut beach, held in the arms of a former lebanese boyfriend. as fujiwara began to direct the casting, set-designing, and shooting, he found himself drawn into a complex web of decisions that each seemed to have much larger sociopolitical implications. in ‘studio pietà’, concept boards filled with photographic prints, headshots, and reference photos highlight the artificiality of fujiwara’s attempts to recreate this missing relic from the past. at the same time, an intimate video staged as an interview session between the artist and himself offers a springboard for discussion about contemporary relations between the west and middle east. the resulting installation is far from sentimental or autobiographical despite its origins. instead, fujiwara’s memories of his emotional response to his mother’s photograph inject underlying currents of eroticism and sexual identity onto a stage where troubling global issues are understood and mediated through direct personal experience.

 

 

 

simon fujiwara: studio pieta (king kong komplex)
the artist re-stages a lost family photograph of his bikini-clad british mother and former lebanese boyfriend
simon fujiwara
studio pietà (king kong komplex), 2013
mixed media installation
AP1, edition of 1 with 1 artist’s proof
ARG# fus2013-001.AP1
production photograph rainer elstermann
commissioned by the sharjah art foundation, SB 11, 2013
image courtesy of the artist and andrea rosen gallery, new york

 

 

simon fujiwara: studio pieta (king kong komplex)
fujiwara’s model gets prepared for the shoot
simon fujiwara
studio pietà (king kong komplex), 2013
mixed media installation
AP1, edition of 1 with 1 artist’s proof
ARG# fus2013-001.AP1
production photograph rainer elstermann
commissioned by the sharjah art foundation, SB 11, 2013
image courtesy of the artist and andrea rosen gallery, new york

 

 

simon fujiwara: studio pieta (king kong komplex)
the studio pietà installation at andrea rosen gallery mixes interrogation room, casting studio, photographer’s studio and beach 
courtesy of andrea rosen gallery, new york
photograph by lance brewer
© simon fujiwara

 

 

simon fujiwara: studio pieta (king kong komplex)
full installation view

 

 

simon fujiwara: studio pieta (king kong komplex)
studies of michelangelo’s pietà sculpture, from which the exhibition borrows its name
courtesy of andrea rosen gallery, new york
photograph by lance brewer
© simon fujiwara

 

 

simon fujiwara: studio pieta (king kong komplex)
a model casting board for the restaging of the photo is one of the bulletins along the installation’s walls
courtesy of andrea rosen gallery, new york
photograph by lance brewer
© simon fujiwara

 

 

simon fujiwara: studio pieta (king kong komplex)
up close
courtesy of andrea rosen gallery, new york
photograph by lance brewer
© simon fujiwara

 

 

simon fujiwara: studio pieta (king kong komplex)
still from:
simon fujiwara
studio pietà (king kong komplex), 2013
video, running time: 20’30 minutes

edition of 5
AP1, edition of 1 with 1 artist’s proof
ARG# fus2013-001.AP1
production photograph rainer elstermann
commissioned by the sharjah art foundation, SB 11, 2013
image courtesy of the artist and andrea rosen gallery, new york

 

 

simon fujiwara: studio pieta (king kong komplex)
still from:
simon fujiwara
studio pietà (king kong komplex), 2013
video, running time: 20’30 minutes

edition of 5
AP1, edition of 1 with 1 artist’s proof
ARG# fus2013-001.AP1
production photograph rainer elstermann
commissioned by the sharjah art foundation, SB 11, 2013
image courtesy of the artist and andrea rosen gallery, new york