Ed Fornieles
Modern Family
18 September 2014 – 9 November 2014
Opening: Thursday 18 September

Chisenhale Gallery presents a major new body of work by the London and Los Angeles-based artist Ed Fornieles for his first solo exhibition in a UK institution. A new online work forms the basis of the commission and will be presented alongside sculpture and performance within an ambitious installation environment.

Modern Family skews the material logic of home improvement, sitcom architecture and the shopping mall, taking us on a journey to a distant yet familiar suburban land. Fornieles invites you to join the family BBQ as an artificial Californian sun sets over the gallery. The exhibition evokes a distorted ‘Pinterest reality’ derived from the aspirational online image-sharing platform, which, along with home decor magazines, has come to present a contemporary definition of the American ‘good life’. The installation plays with scale and spatial perspective to create a cartoonish landscape of sculptures, combining high-spec finishes and new technology with breakfast cereal, DIY home tiling techniques and a ‘living room materiality’.

A cast of archetypal family members – characters tapped from TV shows, film genres and the L.A. suburbs – are evoked throughout the installation. Periodically, they are embodied by a series of performers who activate the exhibition through movements choreographed from lifestyle-based behaviours. Fornieles is interested in the family as a device for the replication and perpetuation of social norms. He brings into question its role as a responsive, resilient model for the safe assertion of individual subjectivity, within the cultural hegemony of middle class America. For Fornieles, the family provides a baseline narrative, in which everyone is assigned a role and against which we are compelled to define ourselves.

Fornieles creates exhibitions and performances that enact a collapse between online and offline spaces. Central to his exhibition at Chisenhale Gallery, the new website uses search terms to draw on live content, aggregating news feeds and social media profiles in real time, as stories unfold and people interact online. Fornieles utilises the huge amounts of freely available personal and public data feeding our attention economy, where value is determined by likes, shares and reposts. Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter and Google generate a shifting backdrop to the installation; one which is ever-contemporary and continuously updated, sustained by new trends, current events and personal lives.

This new work builds on Fornieles’s recent sculptures, installations and web-based projects – such as the ‘Facebook sitcom’, Dormdaze (2011) and Maybe New Friends (2013), an ongoing performance by Twitterbots – which explore the impact of the virtual on the physical world. Whereas these previous forms of internet-based work have focused on the interactive potential of the medium and the empowerment and optimism that this implies, with Modern Family Fornieles adopts a position normally inhabited by marketing companies or government programs like the US-based PRISM. Operating in this complex territory, this new body of work mirrors a reality constructed from our own collective desires and subjectivities, confronting the mechanics of the Internet and revealing the dichotomy between dystopic banality and the pleasure of excess.

To download an interview with Ed Fornieles about his exhibition at Chisenhale Gallery, please click here.

To download the exhibition handout, please click here.

Ed Fornieles (born 1983, Petersfield) lives and works in London and Los Angeles. Recent solo exhibitions and projects include Despicable Me 2, Mihai Nicodim Gallery, Los Angeles (2013); The Dreamy Awards, Park Nights, Serpentine Gallery, London (2012); Characterdate, Frieze Frame, Frieze London (2012); and Happy Days in Basel, Theater Basel (2012). Recent performances include New York New York Happy Happy (NY NY HP HP) for Rhizome, New Museum, New York (2013) and Pool Party Plays Itself, MOCAtv, Los Angeles (2013). Fornieles participated in Meanwhile... Suddenly, and Then, the 12th Biennale de Lyon (2013).

This exhibition contains imagery that some visitors may find offensive or disturbing, including images with violent and sexual content.

Ed Fornieles’s commission is supported by the Genesis Prize, BERTHOLD, Anita Zabludowicz, Yana Peel, Alexandra Economou and the Ed Fornieles Supporters Circle. With thanks to Carlos/Ishikawa.

Chisenhale Exhibitions Partner 2014: Fiorucci Art Trust

Ed Fornieles
Tuesday 7 October

Tuesday 7 October 2014
Ed Fornieles in conversation with Ben Vickers, Curator of Digital at Serpentine Galleries, facilitator of unMonastery and Co-Director of LIMAZULU Project Space; and Katie Guggenheim, Exhibitions and Events Organiser, Chisenhale Gallery.

Tuesday 7 October 2014
Ed Fornieles in conversation with Ben Vickers, Curator of Digital at Serpentine Galleries, facilitator of unMonastery and Co-Director of LIMAZULU Project Space; and Katie Guggenheim, Exhibitions and Events Organiser, Chisenhale Gallery.

Saturday 8 November 2014
A tour of the exhibition led by critic and writer Michael Archer.
Modern Family: Coffee Morning

Tuesday 30 September, 9 – 10.30am

A coffee morning and special viewing of the exhibition with cakes generously provided by the East End Women’s Institute.

Lucien Young Workshop

Saturday 4 October, 3pm

Lucien Young, comedian and co-writer of BBC3’s Siblings, leads a workshop in sitcom writing. Participants will learn about character and plot development and work together to develop a new sitcom premise.

Ed Fornieles in conversation with Ben Vickers

Tuesday 7 October, 7pm

Ed Fornieles in conversation with Ben Vickers, Curator of Digital at Serpentine Galleries, facilitator of unMonastery and Co-Director of LIMAZULU Project Space; and Katie Guggenheim, Exhibitions and Events Organiser, Chisenhale Gallery.

Modern Family Performance

Saturday 18 October, 12 – 6pm

A family of characters come together for one day only, activating Ed Fornieles's exhibition, Modern Family with a performance specially devised by the artist.

Ed Fornieles

Hand-etched glass plates, acrylic paint, custom steel shelf.
Glass: 400 x  300 x 6 mm (2 parts); shelf: dimensions variable.
Edition of 30+5APs

Standard price: £650
Chisenhale Friends’ price: £585*

*Please note that Chisenhale Friends price is only available to those who have supported the gallery via the Benefactors scheme. For more information on the scheme please click here.

Please note that, as is the norm for limited edition works, prices will increase as an edition sells out.

To accompany his exhibition, Modern Family, at Chisenhale Gallery, Ed Fornieles has produced a new limited edition artwork, Let’s Be Cops (2014). Each edition is unique, comprising two hand-etched glass plates, coloured with acrylic paint, presented on a custom built steel shelf designed by the artist. The work draws on popular online representations of teen identities and features imagery sourced from forums and social media platforms such as Tumblr and Instagram, created and circulated by teenagers.

Chisenhale Gallery presents a new commission by London and Los Angeles-based artist Ed Fornieles. A new online work forms the basis of the exhibition and is presented on screens within an installation environment also comprising sculpture and live performance.

Modern Family skews the material logic of home improvement, sitcom architecture and the shopping mall, taking us on a journey to a distant yet familiar suburban land. Fornieles invites you to join the family BBQ as an artificial Californian sun sets over the gallery. The installation plays with scale and spatial perspective to create a cartoonish landscape of sculptures, combining high-spec finishes and new technology with a ‘living room materiality’. Operating in a complex territory exploring the impact of the virtual on the physical world, this new body of work mirrors a reality constructed from our own collective desires and subjectivities, confronting the mechanics of the Internet and revealing the dichotomy between dystopic banality and the pleasure of excess.

Each edition is unique.

Click here to download images of the available editions.

To discuss availability, delivery options and to purchase please email us at editions@chisenhale.org.uk.

Please note that the glass has intentional marks and some small chips.

Ed Fornieles (born 1983, Petersfield) lives and works in London and Los Angeles. Recent solo exhibitions and projects include Despicable Me 2, Mihai Nicodim Gallery, Los Angeles (2013); The Dreamy Awards, Park Nights, Serpentine Gallery, London (2012); Characterdate, Frieze Frame, Frieze London (2012); and Happy Days in Basel, Theater Basel (2012). Recent performances include New York New York Happy Happy (NY NY HP HP) for Rhizome, New Museum, New York (2013) and Pool Party Plays Itself, MOCAtv, Los Angeles (2013). Fornieles participated in Meanwhile... Suddenly, and Then, the 12th Biennale de Lyon (2013).

  • Ed Fornieles Limited Edition
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  • Chisenhale Gallery Friends and Patrons receive 10% discount on limited edition prints and publications priced up to the value of £3,500 For information about how to join the Friends and Patrons Programme please click here.

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    For media enquiries please contact:
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Modern Family: Michael Archer leads a tour

Saturday 8 November, 3pm

A tour of the exhibition led by critic and writer Michael Archer.
The event is free to attend but booking is strongly advised. To reserve a place please click here.