Andreas Fogarasi (born 1977 in Vienna) studied architecture at the Angewandte and Fine Arts at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Vienna. He is a long-time contributor to Dérive – Zeitschrift für Stadtforschung and his work has been shown in numerous solo- and group exhibitions internationally, among others at Kunsthalle Wien, Museo Tamayo, Mexico City, Galeria Vermelho, Sao Paulo, GfZK – Museum of Contemporary Art, Leipzig, Trafó Gallery, Budapest, Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid, Ludwig Forum für aktuelle Kunst, Aachen, and at the Hungarian Pavilion at the 52. Biennale di Venezia, where he was awarded the Golden Lion for best national participation.
DO YOU HAVE TO BE AN ACTIVIST AS AN ARTIST WHO IS INTERESTED IN PUBLIC SPACE?
AF: Over the years I had to realize that I am not an activist. I am not capable of formulating and communicating clear enough claims or goals. For the same reason I could not become an architect, although I immensely respect both activists and architects, and I am also a little bit scared of them. There always remains a deep scepticism that as an artist I have the luxury to cultivate and employ to explore various cracks in the world and its visual and textual representations.
HOW DO YOU APPROACH THE GENIUS LOCI? HOW DO YOU EXPLORE A SITE? WHAT TRIGGERS YOUR INTEREST? YOUR ATTENTION?
AF: I am quite thorough in my research of the places I work in. For buildings, I like to know who designed them, when, and why. This human, creative factor, with all its hopes and ideas, failures and restrictions I find infinitely fascinating, also in relation to my own role as cultural producer, today. In situ I observe everyday activities and spatial conflicts and peculiarities, and try to isolate the ones I find interesting, reframe them in order to allow a closer understanding of what is already there.
IN CONCEPTUALIZING AN ART WORK IN A PUBLIC CONTEXT, OUTSIDE A MUSEUM DOMAIN, WOULD YOU HAVE AN AUDIENCE IN MIND? OR A SPATIAL RELATION?
AF: I don’t believe that the typical art audience understands much more than people on the street. It is other things, other aspects of the work that they understand. The relationship between viewer and artwork is always full of misunderstandings. Some can be helped, others are best left as they are, as productive disturbances of the way things are.
WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON?
AF: A project for the forecourt of the Salzburger Landesarchiv, the regional archives in the Salzburg region. It is a 1970s building a bit outside the centre of the city, and in front of it there is already a lot going on, including two artistic works from the time it was built, as well as plants and trees, different pavements, a bus stop and various other things. My intervention is an archiving or cataloguing of all the objects and surfaces of the outside area. Everything is identified and labelled, bringing the research and documentation activity of the archive out into public space.
He was impressed by the wide scope of approaches and activities at Social Design Studio and he thinks that in the future all design will be social design.
- Summer Semester 2021
- Andreas Fogarasi