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'The Fool'

Exhibtion dates: 31 July - 12 Sept 2009
Preview: Thursday 30 July, 6:00pm - 8:00pm


'The Fool' re-imagines the figure of the clown, the jester and the dandy for the twenty-first century, where the role of the Shakespearean 'fool' has a new relevance in contemporary art. For the artists the figure of 'the fool' is a way of taking a 'vantage point' - we might say a disadvantage point - from which to view society's rituals and codes of conduct. 

As part of 'The Fool' Michael Gardiner's photographic series 'Funfair' reveals one of Berlin's strangest sights. The series documents a disused funfair, Spree Park, which is near the centre of the city. For Gardiner, the funfair is an entire city-in-miniature, resembling a real-life equivalent of Giorgio de Chirico's enchanted cities.

Despite being prime real estate in one of the world's greatest cities, inside the funfair, everything is stilled, emptied, and silent. This ruined city is populated only by rust-covered rollercoasters and disused dodgems, as though the frenetic production of the 20th and 21st centuries had come to a grinding halt. But does the funfair resemble a Hollywood film set of a nuclear-scarred future, or is it closer to a vision of the real future awaiting us?

Michael Gardiner: From the photographic series 'Funfair', 2008

Other artists featured in 'The Fool'