Andreas Fogarasi - Armory Show 2011

Preoccupied by representations of place, power and identity in public space. Andreas Fogarasi's work comments the dissimulated way by which the State defines and regulates behaviour within its borders. His critical process imposes a discourse that peels away the layers of convention and pre-conceived ideas that surround his subject, at which point he can then re-build, re-assemble, associate and repeat, to a point where these minimalist works question our surroundings and behavioural patterns, leading us to the inevitable question of civil liberties.
The main work in his presentation at the Armory Show is called Constructing / Dismantling, (2010) it is a three-screen video installation, filmed in Santiago de Compostela in the north-west of Spain. The city is an important destination for pilgrims, situated at the end of the St. James' Way and boasting a large number of churches, convents and historic landmarks.
Currently, a large cultural complex is being built on a hill outside of the city centre. Planned by architect Peter Eisenman, the City of Culture will host a library, archives, an opera house, a museum and an art centre. The spectacular project has been the object of a heated debate due to its immense scale, its prominent location and political and financial frictions that will most probably lead to the project not being completed as planned.
One of the three videos examines the relationship of the Eisenman project to the city, filming along the margins of the construction site, the valley that separates it from the historical centre, the landscape surrounding the future cultural complex. A second video shows a fairground in Santiago, a temporary architecture of entertainment and celebration, an expendable spectacle, filmed in the process of dismantling. A third video focuses on a detail of a large floral carpet on the main square of Santiago, showing the number 2010, as it is wiped away by street cleaners, with only a chalk outline remaining on the pavement, then reconfiguring itself by being played backwards, in an endless loop.
Placemark - is a small-scale marble monument, which functions as a marker much in the same way as a city landmark, mimicking with irony how the State create, sustain and legitimize their frontiers.
Cities - a series of 12 pencil drawings in identifiable typeface, comment the fact that public sector industries now follow the example of global corporations competing to position geographical locations as brands, using slogans that identify and empower their territories.
NY, NY, a floor piece, in reference to the logo design for the city of New York created by the American graphic designer Herb Lubalin in 1966. The logo is broken down into multiple geometric forms which are loosely strewn into a disorientating composition that disinherits the original of its indentifying role, turning it into a series of dispossessed zones.

Though his language is confined within the codes of Minimalism, they remain a complex set of ethically charged propositions - ostensibly harmless, quiet, and seemingly unassuming at first sight. But they are not. On further examination one notices that their simplicity is unbalancing, and that they are in fact shouting at you, asking awkward questions, addressing the uncomfortable and speaking of freedom. They demonstrate an aesthetic that is paradoxically structured and defiant at the same time. Forcing us to re-examine our perceptions and interpretations and finally to admit to our delusions - and it is here that the full strength of his argument becomes apparent. They have an underlying dark side, an intrinsically subversive nature, they are wolves in sheeps' clothing.