Panorama view of exhibition in Jedlitschka Gallery, Zurich.

Panorama view of exhibition in Jedlitschka Gallery, Zurich.

20 January 2014

H.R. Fricker: Place of Places.com — Signage for Living Rooms

First published October 9, 2007

fricker_places_image.jpg

One of my neighbours, H. R. Fricker, is a exceptional artist, originally known for his Fluxus, Mail Art work, but he has done a variety of artwork in his career. Fricker has pushed an approach influenced by early Conceptual Art into a personal and poetic "Contextual Art" far more intriguing than most Neo-Conceptual Art. Matthias Kuhn, himself a remarkable artist and curator-cum-art-project-organizer (as I find him to be, even if he was rather faint-hearted and worried about his “connections“ in the face of my newspaper article on local curatorial malpractice), has written a post about Fricker’s newest internet-based project. I translated it and am presenting here.

The internationally renowned Swiss artists H.R. Fricker has launched a new undertaking in his website “placeofplaces.com,” ...

one which profits from his decades of experience in worldwide art-networking and from the countless internet projects which attempt to distribute Conceptual Art through the web.

placeofplaces.com — Signage for Living Rooms —functions amazingly simply. As Fricker writes on his homepage, “I sell enamel metal signs, 12 by 12 inches in size, and document their location through photos I receive.” The signs are based on his series of ORTE-Schilder (Place Signs), which have been exhibited and installed over the years in a wide variety of contexts.

For his website, placeofplaces.com, Fricker has developed the series farther and extended them into the context of private spaces. 16 Signs are available in English or German, 16 differently coloured signs, each "place" available in 16 colours = 256 unique signs: PLACE OF CHAOS, PLACE OF CHOICES, PLACE OF CONTEXT, PLACE OF CRISIS, PLACE OF DISPUTE, PLACE OF DOUBTS, PLACE OF FEAR, PLACE OF FUN, PLACE OF FURY, PLACE OF INSIGHT, PLACE OF IRONY, PLACE OF LIES, PLACE OF LOVE, PLACE OF LUST, PLACE OF VISION, PLACE OF WOMEN.

(Those available in German are: ORT DER AHNUNG, ORT DER ANGST, ORT DER FRAU, ORT DER ILLUSION, ORT DER IRONIE, ORT DER KRISE, ORT DER KRITIK, ORT DER LIEBE, ORT DER LIST, ORT DER LUST, ORT DER LÜGE, ORT DER NÄHE, ORT DER SKEPSIS, ORT DER VISION, ORT DER WELT und ORT DER WUT.)

Whereas Fricker up until now primarily installed the sign-works in public spaces, both interiors and exteriors, in this new series he explicitly adapted the artworks for application to private interior spaces. What is particularly exciting about the project is the complete concept in which the works are embedded: with the sale of single signs the work as a whole disappears piece by piece from the very public internet in order to reappear once again within a private situation in each living room or other personal space. The signs do not always merge seamlessly with the new context, rather manage to unsettle and perhaps even threaten these spaces in that they define new spaces and arenas of thought and perception.

With the purchase of these (very inexpensive) enamel signs on placeofplaces.com one can join in and in the twinkling of an eye transform one’s home into a satellite of the project and thereby become a part of the ever-growing placeofplaces network.

Further information and to see H.R: Fricker’s project go to: http://www.placeofplaces.com

--- by Matthias Kuhn, translation and additions MSB
You can also visit Kuhn himself at http://www.wortwerk.ch/
or http://www.visarteost.ch/

An older work by Fricker can be seen at www.alpsteinmuseum.ch

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