Front (Kareth Schaffer)
26.04.15 – 14.06.15
Performance is at the heart of the work of Christian Falsnaes (1980, Copenhagen; currently based in Berlin). His actions are presented live or filmed, with or without an audience, and with man as study object and material. The theatrical, often absurd situations he creates with the active participation of the audience, are accompanied by cheers such as, “This is happening right now, this is the moment we’ve all been waiting for!” The actions create an ambiguous feeling or experience that gives rise to questions about the relations between the individual and the group, and those between the artist and his audience.
Falsnaes engages in penetrating, physical explorations of a wide range of issues of social codes, group dynamics, power relations, authorship, gender roles and more. One of the forms this exploration has crystallized in, are the series of unannounced performances in which the artist took on several roles to direct the audience: from didactic artist to actor, from authoritarian leader to entertainer, clown, hooligan, and outcast. Increasingly, however, Falsnaes develops performative formats in which he himself is not physically present, making use of a telephone connection or stand-in. In other instances, he examines how the particular situation of a performance may facilitate the creation of an autonomous video piece.
The title of the current exhibition – Front (Kareth Schaffer) – refers to the show’s central piece of the same name; a sculpture and a video piece that are the result of a collective performance created during the show’s opening in and around the KIOSK space. The audience was challenged by the performer to draw on the white wall that was erected in the nearby garden of the Academy of Fine Arts. The wall was subsequently sawed in pieces and reassembled in a new form in KIOSK’s central room.
The previously conceived performance was adapted for this context to be performed by choreographer and dancer Kareth Schaffer. With this female version of the work Front, the artist questions himself, as a white, heterosexual male, and the authority of his artistic practice.
The interactive installation The Title Is Your Name focuses on the visitor and the act of ‘looking at art’. Interacting with an app that gives instructions, it is the visitors who create new video pieces and it is the visitors who chose if their fragments could be watched and shared by everyone. The app activates the relation between the work of art and the visitor, as well as that between the exhibition and a space that is entirely unrelated to the world of art.
The ongoing performance Time/Line/Movement realizes itself each time the abstract drawing of the same name changes owners. The appended conditions can be summarized as such: the recipient copies the drawing in five minutes, burns the original, and allows the incineration to be captured on photograph. In this case, the ‘original’ drawing was reinterpreted by Wim Waelput, artistic director of KIOSK. His new ‘original’ becomes the actual, framed work of art.
In different ways, these three works examine notions of authorship, participation, and the artistic identity. They start from performance scripts meticulously elaborated by Falsnaes, yet the actual performances are given over to others: the works are shaped only in the process and regardless of the artist’s presence, through variable actors such as an interactive app, the show’s visitors, and particular persons involved, such as choreographer and dancer Kareth Schaffer, and KIOSK’s artistic director.
The exhibition was realized in collaboration with Bielefelder Kunstverein.