Christian Falsnaes studied philosophy and was active in the graffiti and squatting- scene before he began his studies at the Academy of fine Arts in Vienna. He subtly works to break down the barriers between high culture and popular culture, between visual art, film, music and literature. Investigating conceptions that are learned, adapted and reproduced through participation in various social and cultural practices, his approach is to mirror those conceptions, depict them, reflect them and exaggerate them in order to expose their absurdities.
His works are complex assemblages of live-performance, music and pre-produced videos that display an odd balance between philosophical seriousness and slapstick humour. Existing structures and roles are sampled and modified to create absurd scenarios ranging from shocking to hilarious, often in public spaces and caught on video. Whether he is dancing through the streets of Hanoi with a large landscape painting or miserably fails to do a speech while having a penis in his mouth, there is an element of absurd entertainment present.
Christian Falsnaes’ works reflect contemporary culture, from music videos to computer games, but with apparent connections to art history. In his “Surface Memory” pieces, he creates abstract paintings by pulling canvases soaked in paint over different surfaces in the streets. The action is reminiscent of both the gesture of action painting as well as the public interventions of urban activism. Hereby a strategy of appropriation is applied to both the common space of the streets and the common body of cultural references.
Falsnaes performed, exhibited his work and participated in the artist talk during Sequences art festival in 2011.