This is my fourth exhibition with Thomas Bernard. It is entitled Monuments offerts, and as usual the title is slightly independent of the show, or rather, an autonomous work. To my surprise nobody ever asks me about my show’s titles, while I am working hard to make them strangely conceptual in the most subtle and seemingly innocuous way (some of the last ones being: Année Le Nôtre, 1998, Sculpture, Vasarely Go Home).
I am drawn to and appaled by spectacle. I try to isolate and display aspects of it.
Identity is an issue too, but one that I find useful to not talk about.
There is fire. It is portable, a model, a detail.
There is marble. It is 2 cm thin and small enough to be carried by one person.
There are all the countries of Europe, hovering in the air, firmly stretched between the ceiling and the floor.
They are presented in black and white. They are supposed to attract people (some).
There is another piece of marble. It is even smaller, postcard size.
A slice cut out of the world (like a photograph?), polished and displayed with grand gesture.
Copper, aluminum, folded, clad in bookbinding cloth.
The fire comes from Ed Ruscha.
Or from Yves Klein, I remember seeing his rooftop fire-wall in Nice as a teenager.
Ruscha a dozen years later, while spending some months in Los Angeles. His “Los Angeles County Museum on Fire” stuck with me, as many other fires in his photographs and paintings. Los Angeles is also where my burning truss was fabricated, another 10 years later, by a nice pyromaniac biker with lots of tattoos and a serious dedication to detail. We grilled sausages over it the night before the opening, and marshmallows for my birthday.
When the flames are out, that’s fine with me too. The propane gas bottle, blue or green or silver, is a quiet promise of archaic excitement.
I like dysfunctional monuments, ephemeral ones.
Don’t trust the ones that are offered as gifts.
Andreas Fogarasi (*1977, Vienna) is through his installations, sculptures, videos and photographs concerned with the act of showing and of representation. He analyses how places, cities, political ideas, or historic events become images and questions the role of culture – art, architecture, and design – in this process. Underlying his works is his critical examination of the mechanisms with which political appropriation operates in the field of visual culture today: the process of culturalisation of the economy – be it through „creative“ models of working and remuneration, through culture being the motor behind urban reconstruction, or as a factor in the competition for attracting tourists, investors, and media attention.
Formally informed by Minimal Art and Conceptual Art, Fogarasi’s works are at the same time documentary and autonomous sculptures. The documentary element is consciously fractured and rests on a precise balance between information and openness. The sculptural aspect is strongly architectural, often referencing iconic landmarks, commercial presentations or temporary forms of architecture such as stands at fairs, stage constructions, or pavilions.
Andreas Fogarasi was awarded in 2007 with the Golden Lion at the 52nd Venice Biennial for his exhibition in the Hungarian Pavilion. He participated in numerous international exhibitions and had solo shows amongst others at the Museo Nacional Reina Sofia, Madrid; Proyectos Monclova, Mexico City; Georg Kargl Fine Arts, Vienna; MAK Center, Los Angeles (with Oscar Tuazon); GfZK – Museum of Contemporary Art, Leipzig; Museum Haus Konstruktiv, Zürich; Galeria Vermelho, Sao Paulo; Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art, Toronto; Ludwig Museum, Aachen; Lombard Freid Projects, New York; Trafo House of Contemporary Arts, Budapest; Grazer Kunstverein, Graz.