Simon Fujiwara

* 1982 in London, GBR
lives in Berlin

Simon Fujiwara had just turned 11 when, in 1993 at the opening of Tate St. Ives in his home town, he saw the painting “Horizontal Stripe Painting: November 1957 – January 1958” by renowned artist Patrick Heron. The painting is influenced by Abstract Expressionism and as such represents the wish to express emotions, sentiments, and the real world through abstraction in color. Fujiwara says that until then the painting was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen and made him realize both that he wanted to become an artist and that he was gay.

Based on this memory, in 2009 he wrote a play called The Mirror Stage, in which he gives a teenage actor who represents his younger persona instructions in reenacting the key moment in which he discovers his true self. The play’s content refers to the mirror phase of adolescence as outlined in the theories of the French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan, with Heron’s painting performing the role of the mirror. The set also has elements that are typical of a teenager’s bedroom; alongside the furniture the bed linen, whose color sequence is inspired by the painting, is also derived from the Ikea DIY product range. In a tongue-in-cheek way the dialog questions our understanding and experience of art: Do we understand art through an understanding of the brilliance of the artist or rather through a superlative experience that overwhelms us with our ecstatic recognition, our moment of bliss?

Nassauischer Kunstverein Wiesbaden

The Mirror Stage, 2009–2013
Videostill, mixed media, dimensions variable, Video 27:41 min