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  [BERNHARD FRUE. PHESBUK]

SHOW
Kunstverein Medienturm
Josefigasse 1, 8020 Graz
28.01-31.03.2012

Press talk:
27.1.2012, 10 a.m.

Press download

Opening: 27.1.2012, 8 p.m. Tue–Sat 10 a.m.–1 p.m., Wed–Fri 3–6 p.m.
Curator Sandro Droschl

Catalogue and artist book


Supporting programme

Openings in the frame of CMRK 27.1.2012, 6–10 p.m. further exhibition openings at Camera Austria, < rotor > and Grazer Kunstverein

Free Shuttle:
departure Vienna 3 p.m., Opera, Ikea-bus stop
Departure Graz 11 p.m.,
< rotor >, Volksgarten

Exhibitions in dialogue: Reinhard Braun 4.2.2012,
10 a.m.;
Daniel Pies 30.3.2012, 3 p.m.

Special guided tours through all four exhibitions starting at Grazer Kunstverein


Round Table:
"Catalogue formats“
24.3.2012, 3 p.m.
Forbidden Love: Art in den Wake of Television Camp (Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Cologne; Cooperation Kölnischer Kunstverein), The Smart Frridge. Chilly Forecast for Internet Fridge (Lulu.com), PHESBUK. Bernhard Frue (Verlag für Moderne Kunst, Nürnberg)
On the occasion of the comprehensive project PHESBUK embracing an exhibition, a homonymous artist book and a catalogue, Bernhard Fruehwirth changes his name.

Starting point of the project is a picture cycle in an artist book, which the artist created from 2008 to 2011 of newspaper and magazine clippings featuring faces that he partly reworks. This information flood singles out a vast number of faces, which are divorced from their original context. In the artist book, they gather anew, according to subjective criteria, resulting again in overexciting visual information.

Using a ballpen, Frue “scratches out” the faces to the point that they come off. Bernhard Frue reasons his motivation for a current discussion of the portrait: “The centrepiece of the exhibition PHESBUK is an artist book which exhibits exclusively faces out of newspapers and magazines. I started to work on this book during my first stay at a hospital, where newspapers functioned as window and contact to the world outside. At first, I was visually and emotionally attracted to individuals who are permanently in the limelight of the media, which, due to my own weak bodily condition, upset me up to a physical extent. Quickly, I lost the interest in the celebrities and I focused on the selection of photos showing faces of “unknown people”. From the information flood, only the cut out faces remain as a kind of residual information.”

The artist book is presented installation-based and represents a model of the coping with and filtering of the omnipresent “fetish face”. Due to the influence of the media, the serial work produces a chronology of variations of always the same: the depiction and display of a flood of anonymous, attention- and distinction seeking faces.
In the exhibition PHESBUK, for the first time, Frue extends his originally graphic approach towards the medium of video. Frue uses and questions the formal similarities of both media by linking up the sketch quality of the drawing with the simple and quick handling of video.

Maren Lübke-Tüdow makes out a crossmedial, even performative quality in Frue’s established drawing-oriented approach: “Entering, for example, the studio of the artist, one is tempted to attribute an almost performative quality to the oldest artistic form of expression – the drawing […] Frue is committed to the production of a maximum of density within a medium, claiming the maximal lightness which can be attributed to a medium at all.”

With the orientation towards the classical genre of the portrait, Frue advances, also in the video works, a current interpretation of a self-portrayal addressing topics such as reflection and self-reflection, detachment and dissolution or rhythm and coding. Frue discusses the loss of privacy, the perception and self-reflexion in altered and changing environments and the dissolution of existence. Since Frue brings together the sketch quality and the simple handling of video, he hands us his potentials regarding a perception of the “fetish face”.

The catalogue which accompanies the complex exhibition, presents the new works in PHESBUK and reflects on the works of the last years.

Bernhard Frue was born in 1968 in Bad Radkersburg, grew up in Graz and lives and works in Vienna. He studied at the University of Applied Art in Vienna and was awarded the Otto Mauer Award in 2006. Beside the participation in numerous group exhibition, Frue had solo shows, amongst others, at the Salzburger Kunstverein, the Wiener Sezession, Gabriele Senn, Vienna and in his gallery representations Mezzanin, Vienna and Mathias Güntner, Hamburg.


Statements on the artist book:

“GREAT, BUT WHO WANTS TO HAVE IT?” Marian

“BRILLIANT!” Friederike

“THERE IS A LOT OF AGGRESSION IN HERE !” Fernando

Bernhard Fruehwirth. OPEN SKY

Bernhard Frue

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Bernhard Frue, BUK, 2012. Computer animation, 26 min. Exhibition view, Kunstverein Medienturm, Graz, photo: Johanna Glösl

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