(b.1982, London, UK)
Simon Fujiwara’s projects explore his own life and family history, mixing fact and fiction in often absurd and labyrinthine narratives. ‘I am my work,’ he has stated, and goes on to say: ‘The beauty of art is that the very essence of it is always autobiographical. Everything you make, people will look at it and say, “What’s this person’s name? Where are they from? When were they born?” I’m always surprised when audiences take the time to piece things together like that, because it’s only really about one person’s life, but the joy is in understanding how infinitely complex a human being’s life can be.’ His own background is eclectic; the child of Japanese and British parents – his mother was a dancer and his absent father an architect – he grew up, mixed-race and gay, in a Cornish seaside village. Fujiwara studied Architecture before turning to Fine Art, and architecture, along with erotic fiction, plays a key role in his installations and performances.
The School for Perfect Strangers
Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
What is an artwork when it has no author? Can an artwork be separated from an author’s biography? What happens when an object starts to influence the author?
Over two days, Simon Fujiwara will direct a collaborative performance called ‘The School for Perfect Strangers’. Collaborators will be encouraged to bare as much personal information as they feel comfortable with in order to produce a series of filmed dialogues based on collaboratively written scripts. Collaborators will be encouraged to ‘emote’. The class will take shape around a series of ready-made artworks that seemingly have no author. Narratives surrounding the history of the artworks and the biographies of the authors of works will be constructed through dialogue and script writing. Mixing basic theatre techniques, improvisation, confessionals, writing and movement, the group will attempt to construct a series of fragmented narratives around the objects exploring logic, sharing, history construction and characterisation in a post-history, post-emotional world.
Please note: Although preferable, it is not a requirement that the personal information shared is true, simply believable.
A resulting video diary may be published online and by purchasing a ticket to this class you consent to being filmed.
Participants are required to “friend” Simon Fujiwara on Facebook ahead of the workshop.
Price: £20 (2 days)
Concessions: 50% off (limited availability)
Ticket valid for two-days. Tuesday 19th and Wednesday 20th June. 1.30pm start on both days.
Venue: Hayward Gallery Room 1
Approximate duration: 4 hours each day