At the Fondazione Prada, Simon Fujiwara Presents Who the Bær

At the Fondazione Prada, Simon Fujiwara Presents Who the Bær
#Art

A bear, totally lacking a definitive character, awaits visitors on the ground floor of the Podium of the Fondazione Prada to guide them through a huge labyrinth created, almost entirely, out of cardboard and recycled materials, elements of a universe without an identity. And the public is witness to the birth of this character, conceived from an elementary graphic design. Similar to the star of some cartoon who lives in a world specifically created by the artist, Who the Bær has no history nor even a gender. They are only aware of being an image in an online environment, flat, visual, yet full of infinite possibilities. Who can transform or adapt into any image they encounter, assuming its identity. Now they’re human, now an animal, now an object. In this way, the universe conceived by Simon Fujiwara for his Who the Bær becomes a world of freedom, allowing the protagonist to transcend time and space, being simultaneously object and subject. However, they still may not overcome their only challenge - attempting to become more than a mere image. In this narrative stitched together with collages, drawings, sculpture and animation, visitors are witness to a perennial quest for an authentic self. Fujiwara turns to the mechanisms of invention to explore some of the pleasures and traumas of the public in as much as they are part of a society possessed by images and spectacle. The artist puts himself at the centre of an educational itinerary comprised of happy and horrible events. From plastic surgery to world travel, from sexual fantasies to dystopic dreams, he invites us to follow the evolutionary process of a fictional character. The point of departure? The perspective with which they interpret and appropriate the “real world” of images.
Samantha De Martin - © 2021 ARTE.it for Bulgari Hotel Milano