Simon Fujiwara, Likeness, 2018
Simon Fujiwara, Likeness, 2018 Courtesy the artist ; Esther Schipper, Berlin ; Lafayette Anticipations – Fondation d'entreprise Galeries Lafayette, Paris. Photo : Andrea Rossetti

Likeness

Date: 2018
Medium: Video installation on 2 screens, wax statue, various materials (hair, textile...) and objects

Likeness, which Fujiwara has produced specifically for this exhibition, presents a wax figure of Anne Frank produced from an amalgamation of images, sculptures and other wax figures of Anne Frank including the Madame Tussauds figure in Berlin.

It shows Anne writing her diary at her desk, surrounded by objects referencing her hiding place. Eternally fragile, frozen in time, she turns to smile at the public. How much of a likeness the figure has is unknown, given the few black-and-white images available to the production team, who are former employees of Madame Tussauds. In designing his own figure of Anne Frank, Fujiwara found himself in the double role of genetic engineer and fashion stylist, making decisions for dress, skin tone, hair style and eye colour in a process he calls ‘existential styling’ – the attempt to match an image in the collective imaginary with a new image or sculpture of his making.

Taking to the extreme this irresistible human need for image production, Simon Fujiwara employs a Bolt camera robot to return his three dimensional sculpture to two dimensional images. The uncannily smooth images of the robotic camera give viewers the sensation of entering into an image of a historic icon, to surround, document and augment the figure’s presence with disconcerting and almost forensic precision. Like a counterpoint to the Lafayette Anticipations ‘machine building’, Likeness foretells of a mechanised future world in which the camera reigns supreme with its cold and invasive objectivity, enacting moves once performed by humans.
Simon Fujiwara, Likeness, 2018
Simon Fujiwara, Likeness, 2018 Courtesy the artist ; Esther Schipper, Berlin ; Lafayette Anticipations – Fondation d'entreprise Galeries Lafayette, Paris. Photo : Andrea Rossetti
Courtesy the artist ; Esther Schipper, Berlin ; Lafayette Anticipations – Fondation d'entreprise Galeries Lafayette, Paris. Photo : Andrea Rossetti
Courtesy the artist ; Esther Schipper, Berlin ; Lafayette Anticipations – Fondation d'entreprise Galeries Lafayette, Paris. Photo : Andrea Rossetti