VI, VII, Oslo (FR8)
In various works, Tobias Kaspar uses fashion and lifestyle items to reflect on the conflicted economy he is part of as an artist and consumer. Kaspar’s large-scale installation, The Complete Aesop, features the skin care brand Aesop’s entire product line cast in porcelain — 117 objects in total. Recurring methods in the Kaspar’s work include the intense appropriation of a cosmetic consumer product, for example in the film Hydra Life (2013).
Borrowing its name from an ancient Greek storyteller, Aesop relies on “prestige branding” to market its healthy products, eschewing traditional advertising, instead gaining attention through the design, communication and placement of its products and stores. The installation has been cast in Riga using vintage porcelain produced at the Jesena factory in 1970s, Soviet-occupied Latvia. With minimal color in the glazing, the almost-white ceramics recall ancient Greek sculptures.
Kaspar’s interest in appropriating the marketing mechanisms of trendsetting lies not with an interest in the images produced, but rather in questioning the underlying strategies of seduction.
Tobias Kaspar (b. 1984, Basel) lives and works in Riga and Zurich. Solo exhibitions by the artist have taken place at KIM? Contemporary art Center, Riga, Latvia; The Swiss Institute, Rome; Kunsthalle St. Gallen, Switzerland; Midway Contemporary Art Center, Minneapolis. The artist’s work has been included in exhibitions at Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Kunsthalle Zürich; Kunsthalle Basel, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin; Artists Space, New York. Forthcoming presentations include a solo exhibition at the Kunsthalle Bern.