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Kunstmuseen Krefeld opens Christian Falsnaes's first large-scale solo exhibition in a museum
Christian Falsnaes, Portraits, 2017. Cut clothes on black wooden frame, 160 x 120 cm. Courtesy the artist and psm gallery, Berlin © Christian Falsnaes.

KREFELD.- The performances and multi-media installations by Danish artist Christian Falsnaes (* 1980 Copenhagen) currently captivate an international audience. Between March 22 and June 24, 2018, the Kunstmuseen Krefeld presents the artist’s first, large-scale solo exhibition in a museum. In FORCE, Christian Falsnaes exhibits a total of eight works, staging an impressive production. Utilizing a range of participatory strategies, including two spatially expansive, new inter action models, Falsnaes invites the visitor to engage. The Kaiser Wilhelm Museum has become a site in which processes of communication and their aesthetic presence stand front and center. Throughout the exhibition, Christian Falsnaes will be present in the museum in a variety of ways, sometimes physically, other times virtually.

The title of the exhibition, FORCE, sets the tone for Christian Falsnaes’ interactive works that examine notions of force, power, energy, and violence. Falsnaes explores the existing power dynamics between artist and public. He interrogates and precipitates group dynamics, entangles participants in ritual acts, but also confronts the individual with his or her own emotions, reflexes, and instincts. His participatory performances are simultaneously thrilling and drastic, seductive and shocking. They address the identity of the artist as an authoritative figure as well as themes revolving around a male-dominated art world and society. The social agency inherent in each individual can therefore develop its dynamic, political power. Falsnaes shifts the relationship between reality and fiction, art and non-art. His interactive practice counteracts the transience of performance art by creating an aesthetic presence of installation-like stagings, filmic narratives, photographs, and collages. In doing so, he ultimately calls into question the autonomy of art itself.

The exhibition FORCE comprises a total of eight art works from the past five years: interactive installations, performances, video installations, photographs, and collages. In addition, Falsnaes has developed two new participatory spaces specifically for Kunstmuseum Krefeld. In Force, a pictorial and interactive installation, visitors are transformed into nameless marionettes by donning black costumes. The second work, Icon, was inspired by the collection of Kunstmuseen Krefeld. Icons of a male-dominated, post-war modernism – works by Lucio Fontana, Yves Klein, Palermo, or Franz Erhard Walther – are the starting point for this performance and film that rely on audience participation. When does an image become an Icon? What role does the museum play as a categorical entity?

The solo exhibition FORCE by Christian Falsnaes extends the long tradition of participatory projects at Kunstmuseen Krefeld, which, starting in the 1960s, includes renowned artists, such as Joseph Beuys, Hans Haacke, Yves Klein, or Franz Erhard Walther.

Christian Falsnaes was born in Copenhagen (Denmark) in 1980. He studied philosophy at the University of Copenhagen (2001 – 2003) and painting at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna (2005 – 2011). Beginning in 2009/10, Falsnaes started producing performances and has exhibited his participatory works internationally in solo and group exhibitions. In 2015, the artist was nominated for the Preis der Nationalgalerie (short list). The artist lives and works in Berlin.

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