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2011


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Young London, Young British Art


Simon Fujiwara & Alex Farrar Limoncello, London

Simon Fujiwara : 'My name on a Grain of Rice' 2011, A grain of rice in a glass vial mounted directly in the wall  

Curated beautifully just above to the right of  Alex Farrars signed document, this tiny little piece requires close examination. Inserted directly into the wall inside the tiny little glass tube lays a grain of rice, with 'Simon' written in black facing the ground.

One immediately travels into the world of nostalgia, identity and tourism. This object is generally sourced from tourist resorts offering personalised commodities promising everlasting memories of the better times in life.

When purchasing this item the subject is in the conceptual frame of being 'inside their holiday' out of the usual mundanes of life. This grain of rice is locked 'inside the glass vial' locking the memory of the subjects experience with it. Sporting the subjects name, it becomes a direct representation of them creating an anchor in experience and time, which can be revisited in memory, whenever the object is revisited.  

It creates an inauthentic personalised experience. To the subject, they only come into contact with one vial, and one grain of rice named after them. In reality, a million of them could be named Simon, the name is used as a commodity to make consumers feel special.

In the gallery, the piece feels like a miniature portrait of the artist himself which is why it exists beautifully alongside Farras work. 

Both pieces question the authenticity of identity within capitalist reproduction.

In the office, the signature is added at the end of a document, as a confirmation of authorised identity. It is repeated again and again, mirroring the amount of clients it is being sent to.  As this happens the signature is continually changing; no two signatures ever existing the same.

At the resort the subject is never shown the possibility of a million Simons. They are the only one's experiencing this moment because their grain of sand has locked it so.

Both are post-modern forms of portraiture, questioning what actually makes us an individual in this day in age.
Image: 'Untitled' 2010, Framed, Signed Document Alex Farrar©
Alex Farrar : 15 x 'Untitled' 2010, Framed, Signed Document

Fifteen framed pieces of white A4 paper mark the artists signature and print both in black, all displayed on the floor leaning against the wall. All the supporting materials to the piece; for example the white frames, the A4 paper and the printed names, all create identical environments for each signature. When comparing the fifteen marks, a narrative begins to emerge between them; the variance between them is exaggerated by the mechanical identical perfection around them; they all begin to wear a character within themselves, they become individuals.

The piece demonstrates that the nature of being human, disables us the capability of recreating the exact same mark every time we intend to sign. Because of this the very ideology of the signature is not being realised, leaving the mark open to unauthentic reproduction by another. It is this paradox that allows the viewer to re-examine the nature and idea of the signature in modern times.

This simple and almost negligent mark, confirms and represents us in a whole multiplex of systems within our daily lives. It can bind us to an individual through marriage, it can represent you in a promise to pay mortgages and bills, it binds you with endless contracts. And yet it is vulnerably open to manipulation. Living in the age of the screen; it has become one of the few examples left of self-expression through the act of putting pen to paper.

When viewing along Farrar's piece one notices how each little expression comes together to form a bigger portrait of the artist himself. They become snippets of the different persona's within himelf.


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