I Look at Things...
Works from the Collection
Faurschou Foundation Copenhagen
24 April – 12 September 2014
In the course of the summer Faurschou Foundation forms the setting for an artistic exchange between East and West with the group exhibition I Look at Things.... It presents important works from the collection by Georg Baselitz, Cai Guo-Qiang, Shilpa Gupta, Mona Hatoum, Christian Lemmerz, Shirin Neshat, Robert Rauschenberg, David Salle, Danh Vo, Yue Minjun, Zeng Fanzhi, Zhang Huan and Zhang Xiaogang. The exhibition thus reflects Faurschou Foundation’s presence and exhibitions in Beijing.
The title of the exhibition comes from Shilpa Gupta’s work I Look at Things with Eyes Different from Yours. The work consists of a mirror with a red velour curtain drawn across it, with the text ‘I Look at Things’ embroidered on it. When you open the curtain the sentence continues in the mirror: ‘With Eyes Different From Yours’ – and the viewer sees himself or herself in the reflection.
In general the statement functions as a catalyst for the work of the artist. The artist looks at the world, shows it to us, and we come to reflect on our own cultural background. ‘I look at things with eyes different from yours’ is a sentence that marks a fundamental existential condition: that we see the world on the basis of our own surroundings; that the Other is always somewhere else, looking with different eyes – and that an awareness of this is the best starting point for being able to meet and understand one another with respect. Just as art can in the best cases move us to such reflections.
The artists in the exhibition draw our gaze across different generations, different geographies and different artistic practices. The works deal with current social issues, with events from the past, memory and the imagination.
Shirin Neshat’s many confrontational portraits, Masses, from the Arab Spring, thus meet us eye to eye, human to human, across national boundaries and conflicts. In Zhang Xiaogang’s My Dream: Little General we also stand face to face with the gaze of a little boy who sits dressed in a Chinese military uniform, naked from the hips down. The fine pastel colour of the oil painting and the innocence of the child’s face are in thought-provoking contrast to the uniform and reality’s militant regime in China.
The dreams of childhood are also the point of departure for Cai Guo-Qiang’s A Boat with Dreams, here in a rather more poetic version where a small wooden boat floats beneath the ceiling, full to the brim with glowing red paper lanterns shaped like rockets, cars, stars and other objects from memory.
Robert Rauschenberg too has filled his large ‘self-portrait’ Mirthday Man with traces of the past. He made the large picture collage for his own 72nd birthday, and with his usual sense of humour he gave the central position to an X-ray of his own skeleton, which he had used in 1967 in the work Booster. Everywhere on the picture surface we find images of things, works and places that have meant a lot to him, and which will also evoke a response in the viewer.
Faurschou Foundation’s collection ranges wide, from recent contemporary art with political clout to some of the most renowned and well-established artists. The collection is based on passion. The focus is on the individual work selected, and the collection spreads across genres, media and generations.
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