Artist Simon Fujiwara does not shy away from controversy—and his latest piece may be his most controversial yet. In Dvir Gallery in the south of Tel Aviv, Israel, Fujiwara is showing Hope House, a life-size reconstruction of the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam.
But the Berlin-based artist does not pursue provocation for its own sake. Quite the opposite, in fact: He sometimes finds the material for his ambitious works, which often blur fact and fiction, in public scandals and simplistic reactions to the complexities of the human condition.
His video piece Joanne (2016), for example, delves into the story of his former art teacher Joanne Salley, who resigned from Harrow School for Boys in London due to a sensationalist tabloid story blown out of proportion in 2011. Topless photographs of her, taken by a female photography teacher, were discovered by pupils on a hard drive, distributed around the school, and then sent to the yellow press.
With observations about incidents such as this, Fujiwara turns the mirror towards his viewers, urging them to contemplate the nature of their reactions. An astute maker of seductive environments, Fujiwara creates scenarios that physically lure his viewers into serious engagement with uneasy questions. Read more