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 You stand inside an art installation, looking at a doorway at a slight distance. It seems as though you are standing inside of a large cave and looking through a narrow entrance at the world outside. The walls of this cave are alternating stripes of a red, white, and blue material that seems to be a thin fabric. These colored stripes spiral around 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 around the edges of a standard doorway; beyond that, the fabric continues to spiral toward another circular opening. The center of this circle is much brighter, as if one had finally exited the cave. At the center of the circular opening you see two large, white fans facing your direction, 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, laid on its side, reveals the truth about what you are seeing: You are standing inside a huge hot air balloon lying on its side. Blown by the fans, the fabric billows out to press against the existing walls of a large room, the malleable shape of the balloon conforming to the rectangular surfaces of the gallery that contains the artwork.
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.”