Kris Martin, T.Y.F.F.S.H., 2011

Images of Kris Martin, T.Y.F.F.S.H.

  • In this gallery view, a hot air balloon on its side squeezes through a small doorway. The red, blue, and white striped balloon is inflated by two fans near the wicker basket.
  • A red, white, and blue fabric canopy presses against walls of room; portable fans blow air into the room through a doorway.
In this gallery view, a hot air balloon on its side squeezes through a small doorway. The red, blue, and white striped balloon is inflated by two fans near the wicker basket.
Kris Martin, Belgian, b. 1972
T.Y.F.F.S.H., 2011
Hot air balloon, basket, metal ring, and fans
Dimensions variable
Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Gift of Mary and Earle Ludgin by exchange, 2011.43
Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago
A red, white, and blue fabric canopy presses against walls of room; portable fans blow air into the room through a doorway.
  1. Long This is an installation that takes up a whole gallery and overflows into the next room. From this viewpoint you are looking at a doorway and the room beyond, as if standing inside of a large cave and looking out of its narrow entrance at the world outside. The walls of this cave are alternating stripes of red, white, and blue made of some kind of thin fabric material. The colored stripes spiral around toward the entrance, as if being sucked out of the opening. The inside of the cave is more shadowed and the area outside is brightly lit. Gradually you notice that there are in fact two openings lined up in front of each other, straight ahead of you: the first one is a tall rectangle—the red, white and blue fabric is wrapped through the edges of a standard doorway; beyond that it continues to spiral around toward a circular opening. The center of this circle is much brighter, as if one had finally escape from the cave. At the center of that circular opening you see two white fans, blowing air into the cave-like opening. Beyond the fans you see a brown, square form, which is the bottom of a huge wicker basket. This basket, lying on its side, helps to reveal the truth about what you are seeing: You are standing inside of a huge hot air balloon, which is lying on its side. Blown by the fans, the fabric billows out to press out against the existing walls of a large room, the malleable shape of the balloon conforming to the rectangular surfaces of an existing building–the gallery that contains it.
Kris Martin, Belgian, b. 1972
T.Y.F.F.S.H., 2011
Hot air balloon, basket, metal ring, and fans
Dimensions variable
Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Gift of Mary and Earle Ludgin by exchange, 2011.43
Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

About

Kris Martin uses common objects, large and small, to produce new meaning or possibilities. Here, he offers the fantasy of a marooned hot air balloon that has mysteriously landed in the museum, at the same time creating a psychedelic fun house that can adapt to any sized space.

The title of this piece comes from the name of the German gallery, Sies + Höke, where it was first shown. Playing on the language of airline promotions, it stands for “Thank you for flying Sies + Höke.”