In 2019, the British-Japanese artist Simon Fujiwara drew together over 200 accessories, artifacts, and pieces of archival footage for an exhibition about Marie-Antionette. What drew Fujiwara to the monarch was the decadence that led to her beheading, the opulence that would soon become, as he told Journal 18, “the desire of everyone.” He saw her as “being trapped in the modern world, and then I thought, well, let’s imagine the process of her life.” In his latest exhibition, debuting alongside the Fondazione Prada’s reopening, Fujiwara once again explores identity formation, this time regarding a fictional character—a cartoon bear, cheekily named Who. A cardboard labyrinth, constructed in the shape of a giant Who, represents the bear’s life, with corners and turns marking developmental events—from his experimentation with plastic surgery to his nightmares. Who is partly living in a material world, full of the hallmarks of consumer culture, but his maze is also part fairy-tale fantasy. Coming of age, at least for this bear, is a surrealistic process. —C.J.F.
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