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Studio Pietà

Studio Pietà (King Kong Komplex) debuted at the Sharjah Biennial in March and will be presented in a newly expanded format at Andrea Rosen Gallery. It details the artist's attempt to re-stage a lost photograph remembered from childhood of his bikini-clad British mother held in the arms of a former Lebanese boyfriend and taken on a beach close to the famous Casino du Liban outside of Beirut where she worked as a cabaret dancer in the late 1960s. Beginning as an attempt to simply reconstruct the photograph, the artist?s role as director - casting the models, designing the set and even the make-up selection - soon draws him into a labyrinth of larger social and political questions about racial profiling, exoticism, terrorism, and sexual identity.

In the video component at the heart of Studio Pietà, Fujiwara uses the intimate framework of an interview session with himself as leverage to foster a discussion about historical and contemporary relations between the West and the Middle East. The accompanying installation - a surrealistic combination of photographer's studio, casting room, interrogation cell and Beirut beach - is as theatrical as it is sinister. The series of photographic prints of the photo shoot capture the artificial and absurd aspects of Fujiwara's original proposition to recreate the missing picture.
Andrew Rosen