The words you are searching are inside this book. To get more targeted content, please make full-text search by clicking here.


Discover the best professional documents and content resources in AnyFlip Document Base.
Published by franziskakolling, 2019-06-17 10:49:05

Fraigaist Catalog



fraigaist franziska kolling

April 23-May 4, 2019
MFA Gallery | Arts and Humanities Building | CSU Chico



This exhibition and catalogue would not have I am thankful to, and fortunate enough, for the
been realized without the help of some very constant support and guidance from all the
special people in the Art Department at Chico faculty. I would like to mention Asa Mittman,
State. First, I owe my deep gratitute to Kelly Eileen Macdonald, Lauren Ruth, Tom Patton,
Lindner, whose professionalism and humor J. Pouwels and Michael Bishop, who all helped to
inspired me to take on the role as curator. Her make my study abroad experience one of a kind.
invaluable advice on all steps for this project will
be carried into my future professional life. Also, I would like to extend my sincere thanks
to all staff, especially Taylor Hinchcliff, Summer
Second, I am deeply grateful for having met Sheri Armstrong and Rebecca Feldstein, who were
Simons, who changed my life in so many ways. constantly available for questions and help.
Besides learning the process of metal casting in
her class, she also taught me to be a better artist I want to recognize my fellow students, who
and human being. helped me with language barriers, installation
needs or by simply driving me to places. Thank
A very special thanks goes to David Barta, whose you Hope Blackwell, Jory Harms, Shay Taylor,
impressive know-how made it possible for me to Angelea Heartsong, Kris Johnson, and James
expand my own skillset in sculpture from zero Cahill.
to what feels like a hundred. Everyday, I knew I
would learn something new if I would show up Finally, I thank my dear friends Naomi Herring
in the shop with the mindset to put in hard work and Megan Wade, who both trusted me with my
and effort. ideas and brought in their very own versions
of Freya and her bird model. Without you, this
My deepest gratitude to Trevor Lalaguna and would not have been possible.
his family, who opened their own home for me
where I could land. You made it possible that I
could fully focus on my art.


Introduction and differences between humans and birds. In the
amalgamation of materials and documentation, the
In her project, fraigaist, artist Franziska Kolling story of Freya Vogel begins to unfold. However, Freya
presents the archive of the scientist Freya Vogel. Vogel is not real. She is a fictional character, one with
Vogel is a German philosopher and scientist, who a convincing narrative.
migrated to the United States to pursue research on
birds and their migration patterns, especially across Since Marcel Duchamp’s creation of Rrose Selavy,
long distances. The archive includes photos of Vogel, contemporary artists have adopted alter-egos and
a diary, scientific instruments, metal castings of bird fictional personas to explore a myriad of issues. ln
forms, drawings and photographic documentation Zoe Leonard’s Fae Richards Archive, created between
of the scientist’s intense focus on the similarities 1993 and 1996 in collaboration with filmmaker Cheryl
Duyne, Leonard documents the life of a woman who

Installation View of the American Museum of Foreign Philosophical Science,
in the MFA Gallery at California State University, Chico

never existed. Fae Richards, also known as “The not assume the role of Fae Richards (Dunye plays the
Watermelon Woman,” is a black lesbian film star part in the film) her creation was a vital strategy for
whose career spans the 1920s to the 1970s. Through turning attention to the potential of an overlooked
Zoe Leonard’s meticulous creation and assembly of history.
staged imagery, film stills and personal photos, we
encounter Fae Richards as a child in the early 20th Kolling uses a similar approach with Freya Vogel.
Century, as a film actress whose career is sabotaged Her invented character is made believable through
by racism, and as an elderly woman in the post civil the sheer materiality of documentation created by
rights era. According to Leonard, the narrative “came Kolling. Combining appropriated objects with other
from the real lack of any information about the lesbian physical artifacts, the artist realizes her character
and film history of African-American women. Since it through the appearance of materials left behind.
wasn’t happening, I invented it.” While Leonard did

Complicating the narrative further, Kolling also exists in the realm of possibility rather than that of
introduces another made-up persona—Franziska exclusively material production. She writes,
Kolling, the curator. An alter-ego of sorts, the
curator becomes the voice of the project. She The former pragmatic links in which one
presents Vogel’s archive through the guise of an area ‘serviced’ another have given way to an
exhibition, bringing the authority of the institution, understanding that we face cultural issues in
an imaginary museum named the American Museum common and produce cultural insights in common.
of Foreign Philosophical Science, to add credence to Instead of ‘criticism’ being an act of judgement
Vogel’s archive. The presentation of Vogel’s research addressed to a clear-cut object of criticism, we now
mirrors traditional anthropological displays: glass recognise not just our own imbrication in the object
cases with objects, object labels and didactic or the cultural moment but also the performative
materials, along with furniture and painted walls to nature of any action or stance we might be taking in
delineate the “museum” space. The museum even has relation to it. Now we think of all of these practices
a dated look. There is the institutional green of the as linked in a complex process of knowledge
display cases with their scratched and dusty glass production instead of the earlier separation into
and the Polaroids of Vogel experimenting with bird creativity and criticism, production and application.
forms are documents from a pre-digital era. An old If one shares this set of perspectives then one
slide projector shows images of Vogel’s bird exercise cannot ask the question of ‘what is an artist?’
studies creating a time-specific soundscape with the without asking ‘what is a theorist?’1
steady click of the advancing carousel. In its fully
realized display, Vogel’s narrative becomes real. Kolling as curator is a performative proposition. In
this role, the artist is able to facilitate an experience of
The curator role is a lens for the artist to mine issues Vogel that transitions from a scientific investigation,
of criticality in art making. She assumes authority to an aesthetic experience, to a metaphorical treatise
of her subject. Her interpretation of Vogel’s project on freedom. Ultimately, the layers and meta-layers
becomes an exploration of how we produce and within Kolling’s project propel the viewer towards
understand knowledge. believability. To believe in the story of Freya Vogel is
to believe in our own potential.
Kolling’s carefully chosen title initiates this mode of
inquiry that permeates the entire project. Fraigaist is Kelly Lindner, Curator
a made-up word based on an actual German word. But Jacki Headley University Art Gallery,
with one small change (Freigeist to fraigaist) Kolling California State University, Chico
implies potentiality. The artist’s approach parallels
cultural theories outlined by writer Irit Rogoff in her Notes
essay From Criticism to Critique to Criticality. Rogoff 1. Irit Rogoff, “From Criticism to Critique to Criticality,”
proposes that artists explore artistic practice as it Was ist ein Künstler, ed. Katharyna Sykora, Berlin, 2003.


Polaroid from the archive:
Freya Vogel with some of her
metal bird sculptures.




► Table with Guestbook and Donation Box
Letter to the Visitor of the American Museum of Foreign Philosophical Science ►




When You Find a Dead Bird

(14) Bronze Birds
(15) Spine of a Bird
Freya Vogel started her personal collection of
found discarded birds. By burning them out and
eventually casting them in metal (in this case,
bronze), the birds become eternal.

When You Find a Dead Bird

(Bronze, Bird Spine)
(16) Freya Vogel’s Diary
(17) Bronze Birds (Sculpted from Clay)
(18) Organic Burnout Scale (Defines the Metal
Weight when Casting Organic Objects)
(19) Sculpture from the Bishop Collection of
Birds (Showing the Venting System of the actual
Metal Casting)

When You Find A Dead Bird

Distressed Glass Vitrine, Labels, Bronze, Spine, Diary, Found Objects, Numbered Pins

Vitrine Dimensions: 72 x 34 inches


When You Find A Dead Bird

2 Found Dead Birds (Direct Burnout of Actual Birds),

Bronze with Patina


When You Find A Dead Bird

5 Sculpted Birds (Detail, Selection),

Bronze with Patina




Caretaking Tools for Bird Wings

Wood Drawer, Wood Panels, Flocking,
Various Tools



Caretaking Tools for Bird Wings

(Collection of Deutsches Werkzeugmuseum)
(1) Feder Blasebalg (Feather Bellows)
(2) Otoskop der Vielseitigkeit (Otoscope of Well-
(3) Informationstrichter (Information Funnel)
(4) Globale Widerstandskreisel (Global Resistance
(5) Blasebalg und Nasenspiegel (Bellows and
(6) Vorsorgekämme (Combs of Phrophylaxis)
(7) Flügelschlag Rohre (Wing Flapping Tubes)


Prophylactic Wing Clipping Tools

Wood Drawer, Wood Panels, Flocking, Various Tools


Prophylactic Wing Clipping Tools

(Collection of Deutsches Werkzeugmuseum)
(8) Gleichheitszange (Common Equality Forceps)
(9) Formloser Griff (Informality Handles)
(10) Machtverteilungs Spaltkeil (Power
Distribution Splitters)
(11) Bluthochdruck Klemme (High Blood Pressure
(12) Misstrauens Testspitze (Suspicion Probe)
(13) Pinzette für Ausübungen (Executing Pliers)



Initial Bird Study: Pieces

(Lightweight Aluminum)
One of Vogel’s main inspirations was Saint
Hildegard of Bingen (German: Hildegard von
Bingen), a German Benedictine abbess and
philosopher, also known to be the founder of
scientific natural history in Germany. In her Liber
de Subtilitatum, Hildegard of Bingen said, “Birds
symbolize the power that helps people to speak
reflectively and leads them to think out many
things in advance before they take action. Just as
birds are lifted up into the air by their FEATHERS
and can remain wherever they wish, the soul in
the body is elevated by thought and spreads its
wings everywhere.”
Freya Vogel used aluminum for her bird pieces, a
metal lighter than bronze.

Initial Bird Study: Pieces

Distressed Display Table, Wood, Plexiglass, Paint

Table Dimensions: 76 x 20 inches


Initial Bird Study: Pieces

Cast Aluminum with Patina, Wood Panels, Flocking, Museum Pins



Initial Bird Study: Pieces

Cast Aluminum with Patina, Wire




Initial Bird Study: Pieces

Cast Aluminum with Patina



Initial Bird Study: Pieces

Cast Aluminum with Patina



The Scientist

8 Polaroids
3 x 3.1 inches

The Scientist

Polaroid film is the perfect medium for
documentation. During the process of casting the
birds (here: lightweight aluminum), Freya took
care of her study objects as if they were an actual






(Enlarged Expired Polaroids)
Freya’s interest in observing her study subject is
mirrored in the photographs taken of her. The
chemical process of the expired film of the
Polaroids frame her, as well as her study subject,
merging them together.




5 Scanned and Reprinted
Polaroids (Inkjet Print)
8 x 8 inches




Final Bird Study

Wood, Plexiglass, Label, Diary Page,
2 Polaroids, Flocking,
Bronze with Patina
Pedestal Dimensions: 38 x 16 inches



Final Bird Study

(The Disappointment Rate)
After collecting data on the Disappointment Rate
after Migrating to the United States, Freya Vogel
decided to keep her eyes open for those birds
who fail while traveling long distances.
The excitement of the American Dream and its
promise of success was an initial call for Vogel to
migrate to the United States. Creating a bird that
lasts forever, in metal, was exciting. However,
now too heavy to fly, trapped behind glass, with
a broken neck and wings, the connections to the
possibility of failure become obvious.


Final Bird Study

Bronze with Patina




Bird Study #2

Scanned and Reprinted Magazine Pages with Digital Photographs (Inkjet Print)

7 x 10 inches


Click to View FlipBook Version