Italian artist Michael Fliri (°1978) was born in the German-speaking region of the Italian alps, in South Tyrol. Travelling up and down the mountains, but also travelling North and South to study abroad in Germany and Norway, influenced his artistic practice. His work is often in between two poles, two ideas. Fliri uses different media, such as performance, video, photography and sculpture. He researches the notions of metamorphosis and masquerade: the protagonists in his work – often Fliri himself – undergo a certain change or transformation. This transition can be seen as an encounter of two opposite worlds.
Fliri is a performing-video artist that takes us into the realm of the surreal by carrying out actions that border on the absurd in his videos. They appear to be visual transfigurations of yet-to-be- pronounced parables. What is characteristic of Fliri’s practice is that it remains suspended in a space that allows us to draw connections from both the past and the future. In other words, it has an extra-temporal character. For CONTOUR 7, he pushes this experimentation to a critical juncture by bringing together his fascination for masks with a paradoxical quote by Thomas More, who at the end of his life was martyred by being tortured and beheaded: ‘I pray to God I’m a false prophet’. In his video, Fliri appears to stage a contemporary form of martyrdom, where the beheading is replaced by the seemingly forced impression of his face onto a composite soft material, hence producing an effigy reminiscent of the kind used to memorialise the faces of saints and kings.