Simon Fujiwara

Simon Fujiwara, 29, operates as an archeologist, private detective, and stunning dramatist of his personal life and family roots. While his spectacular cross-disciplinary activities are almost impossible to pin down, much of his work revolves around the written word, with heavy doses of installation-and performance-based expression. What’s more, nothing from Fujiwara’s autobiography—or his flair for fictionalizing parts of it—is off-limits: Coming out, sexually obsessing over the father, the sordid nature of the Franco dictatorship, the found effluvia of strangers, and even first experiences with abstract expressionism all become potent material in his theater of objects and desire. In the past, the U.K.–born artist of Japanese and British descent has created a museum of incest and claims to have traveled to the Amazon merely to track a person whose possessions he happened to come across at a flea market. Having just performed a piece in New York for Performa, Fujiwara is gearing up for a major solo show at the Tate St. Ives in January titled “Since 1982.” Ironically, St. Ives is in the artist’s hometown, so the exhibition is sure to carry some heavy emotional baggage (Fujiwara intends to incorporate a number of previous pieces into the show). But he has no plans to move back to where he came from. “I first came to Berlin on a theater tour with my university in 2004 and fell in love with it,” recalls Fujiwara, whose studio is in Kreuzberg. “At the time it was so much cheaper, so I managed not to have to get a job and concentrate on my work.”

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