Who the Bær, Simon Fujiwara

FONDAZIONE PRADA


Exhibition views of “Who the Bær” by Simon Fujiwara Fondazione Prada, Milan. Photo: Andrea Rossetti. Courtesy: Fondazione Prada
From April 29, 2021 until September 27, 2021
“Who the Bær” is a contemporary fairytale conceived by Simon Fujiwara (London, 1982) that takes its inspiration from the field of fantasy literature and cartoons, and their worldwide reception. Through the coming-of-age story of Who, a newly created character, Fujiwara questions the predetermined roles of icons in our collective imagination and the blurring boundaries of what is conceived to be moral and institutionalized, while unveiling how the lens of social-media distortion affects our critical analysis and shapes the way we see each other and think about ourselves.
But who is Who the Bær? What we know about the protagonist of Fujiwara’s fairytale is little: as some renowned character from children’s literature and cartoons, such as Alan Alexander Milne’s Winnie the Pooh, Hanna & Barbera and EdBenedict’s Yogi, Michael Bond’s Paddington and Oleg Kuzovkov’s Masha and The Bear, Who is a bear. Alas, a bear whose origin is unknown and whose identity, desires and destiny are in ques- tion. Who’s long tongue and heart-shaped fur chest seem to be characteristic of an Asian species, the “sun bear,” even if that “æ” letter in Who’s name evokes Scandinavian languages.
Like animated cartoons that open with lavish, folklorist overtones, we begin Who’s journey in this exhibition with a big animated book that, as if in a trailer, introduces the story of Who before we enter a cardboard labyrinth, bear-shaped in plan. Walking through the waving corridors and organic chapters of the exhibition, visitors experience cartoon strips becoming a three-dimensional, full-size, multimedia narration of a genuine research of Who’s family and cultural background, collective legacy and unique style, ethical awareness, social life and search for love.
The “Who the Bær” exhibition follows a winding route inside the cardboard structure designed by Simon Fujiwara. The structure forms a series of environments in which thematically linked works develop the character of Who the Bær. In this leaflet, the sections of the exhibition are indicated in the general map and shown in greater detail in plans. The numbers in the plans refer to the captions of the works displayed.
The sections and works are presented and numbered in the order of the visit. However, some of the vertical surfaces allow the visitor to enter and exit the route at will.
The reference “attribution” indicates the sources of pre-existing images that Simon Fujiwara incorporated in his works. In the single entry, the order of the credits matches the order in which the related images appear in the videos, or from left to right on the wall in the case of a single work or set of works. If a work includes images but no credits are given, it means that the image used is free of third-party rights or that the author of the photo has not been identified. We invite any person whose rights have not yet been cleared to contact Fondazione Prada.
Exhibition views of “Who the Bær” by Simon Fujiwara Fondazione Prada, Milan. Photo: Andrea Rossetti. Courtesy: Fondazione Prada
Exhibition views of “Who the Bær” by Simon Fujiwara Fondazione Prada, Milan. Photo: Andrea Rossetti. Courtesy: Fondazione Prada
Exhibition views of “Who the Bær” by Simon Fujiwara Fondazione Prada, Milan. Photo: Andrea Rossetti. Courtesy: Fondazione Prada
Exhibition views of “Who the Bær” by Simon Fujiwara Fondazione Prada, Milan. Photo: Andrea Rossetti. Courtesy: Fondazione Prada
Exhibition views of “Who the Bær” by Simon Fujiwara Fondazione Prada, Milan. Photo: Andrea Rossetti. Courtesy: Fondazione Prada
Exhibition views of “Who the Bær” by Simon Fujiwara Fondazione Prada, Milan. Photo: Andrea Rossetti. Courtesy: Fondazione Prada
Exhibition views of “Who the Bær” by Simon Fujiwara Fondazione Prada, Milan. Photo: Andrea Rossetti. Courtesy: Fondazione Prada
Exhibition views of “Who the Bær” by Simon Fujiwara Fondazione Prada, Milan. Photo: Andrea Rossetti. Courtesy: Fondazione Prada
Exhibition views of “Who the Bær” by Simon Fujiwara Fondazione Prada, Milan. Photo: Andrea Rossetti. Courtesy: Fondazione Prada
Exhibition views of “Who the Bær” by Simon Fujiwara Fondazione Prada, Milan. Photo: Andrea Rossetti. Courtesy: Fondazione Prada
Exhibition views of “Who the Bær” by Simon Fujiwara Fondazione Prada, Milan. Photo: Andrea Rossetti. Courtesy: Fondazione Prada
Exhibition views of “Who the Bær” by Simon Fujiwara Fondazione Prada, Milan. Photo: Andrea Rossetti. Courtesy: Fondazione Prada
Exhibition views of “Who the Bær” by Simon Fujiwara Fondazione Prada, Milan. Photo: Andrea Rossetti. Courtesy: Fondazione Prada
Exhibition views of “Who the Bær” by Simon Fujiwara Fondazione Prada, Milan. Photo: Andrea Rossetti. Courtesy: Fondazione Prada
Exhibition views of “Who the Bær” by Simon Fujiwara Fondazione Prada, Milan. Photo: Andrea Rossetti. Courtesy: Fondazione Prada
Exhibition views of “Who the Bær” by Simon Fujiwara Fondazione Prada, Milan. Photo: Andrea Rossetti. Courtesy: Fondazione Prada
Exhibition views of “Who the Bær” by Simon Fujiwara Fondazione Prada, Milan. Photo: Andrea Rossetti. Courtesy: Fondazione Prada
Exhibition views of “Who the Bær” by Simon Fujiwara Fondazione Prada, Milan. Photo: Andrea Rossetti. Courtesy: Fondazione Prada
Exhibition views of “Who the Bær” by Simon Fujiwara Fondazione Prada, Milan. Photo: Andrea Rossetti. Courtesy: Fondazione Prada
Exhibition views of “Who the Bær” by Simon Fujiwara Fondazione Prada, Milan. Photo: Andrea Rossetti. Courtesy: Fondazione Prada
Exhibition views of “Who the Bær” by Simon Fujiwara Fondazione Prada, Milan. Photo: Andrea Rossetti. Courtesy: Fondazione Prada
Exhibition views of “Who the Bær” by Simon Fujiwara Fondazione Prada, Milan. Photo: Andrea Rossetti. Courtesy: Fondazione Prada
Exhibition views of “Who the Bær” by Simon Fujiwara Fondazione Prada, Milan. Photo: Andrea Rossetti. Courtesy: Fondazione Prada