All posts tagged: Thomas Mailaender

On show: The Fun Archive by Thomas Mailaender

As I enter the main entrance of the NRW-Forum museum in Düsseldorf, I do a double take. Just above me, caught at the periphery of my vision, is a poster from the museum’s upcoming exhibition, featuring a hairy bare arse emblazoned with a freshly raw tattoo simply stating the word ‘FUN’. Its juxtaposition against the backdrop of this elegantly conservative 1920s German building only heightens the strangeness of this vision. It also confirms that I must be in the right place. The multimedia artist Thomas Mailaender is in the process of installing his first solo museum show, The Fun Archive, opening in time for Düsseldorf Photo Weekend. We have met before but struggle and fail to remember when. Walking through the gallery space is like entering into the organised chaos of a building site as workers in overalls construct various makeshift walls, boxes and rooms. This is going to be no ordinary exhibition. Mailaender guides me into a room and explains that this is to be the ‘bunker’. It’s not yet painted but will be a concrete …

2017-05-09T12:39:32+00:00

#BJP 7858: Scratching the Surface

What do Daisuke Yokota and Thomas Mailaender have in common? On the face of it very little, with the Japanese artist specialising in ethereal, fine art installations, and the French provocateur in deliberately jokey tattoos, pottery and chicken runs (complete with live chickens). “Society puts too much pressure on us to be perfect when in fact everybody smells bad in the arse,” says Mailaender; “If you look around there are so many extraordinary artists and, when I compare, I have done nothing,” says Yokota. “If I burn out now, I was not good enough.” But if you look a little deeper, the two artists are both concerned with the fragile materiality of the photograph, and the alchemic process that transubstantiates mundane subjects into the sacred and the profane. So we’ve put their work together this issue, and added images by artists with similar concerns. Alejandro Guijarro’s Lead, for example, which uses an x-ray machine to illuminate the hidden layers of Old Masters; or Raphael Dallaporta’s Chauvet – Pont-d’Arc, L’inappropriable, a study of prehistoric cave sketches which …

2017-04-04T11:39:52+00:00

Arrested Development in Thomas Mailaender’s Man Cave

Using his friends’ ribbing as a catalyst, the French multimedia artist’s exhibition at London’s Roman Road gallery, and contribution to a group show at The Tate Modern, sees him imagine a correspondence with his homebound, pregnant wife as he travels the world. Through a compilation of self-potraits and fictitious letters, Mailaender uses his trip – climbing mountains, deep-sea fishing, feedings animals – to meditate on his new responsibilities; fatherhood and family life, masculinity after boyhood. The work consists of a series of sham, photoshopped images of himself; a photomontage of holiday snaps collected from hours of trawling the internet. His face, superimposed onto gap year student mash-ups, are accompanied with formal letters to his wife back home. “My love, Another mountain-top on the counter!” he writes in one, alongside an image of him at the pinnacle of a snowy mountain. “You should have seen me lost in the clouds! What bliss! And feeling like the tallest man in the world! I love you both, Thomas”. Mailaender is usually absent from his iconoclastic projects, making Gone Fishing feel …

2016-04-12T10:36:05+00:00

Thomas Mailaender’s weird and wonderful world

“Thomas Mailaender’s forum and sphere of operations is less the art world than the rowdier public domain where events can easily run out of control,” writes Ian Jeffrey, the respected photography critic. That rowdy sense of anarchy and fun is clearly on show in the French artist’s current exhibition at Roman Road, which is punningly titled Solo Chaud. With liberal use of sheets of white plastic, Mailaender has literally transformed the gallery into a white cube, and populated it with artwork culled from various recent projects – a print on plasterboard, showing a man grabbing and photographing a bird, is taken from his Cyanotypes series; humorous press prints ‘framed’ in roughly-shaped, brightly-coloured clay come from his Les Belles Images collection; large, roughly cut boards showing amateur snaps of everything from hapless plastic surgery fans to questionable bikini lines are relics from the Chicken Museum installation he created at Rencontres d’Arles in 2011. Behind the gallery, in owner Marisa Bellani’s home, more work is on display – lumpen vases, a more traditional large-scale print, and what look like family …

2015-05-05T14:41:55+00:00

BJP Staff