Tobias Kaspar

TBR (fig. 3) Dark Shades, 2013
Inkjet print face mounted to plexiglass on museum box
Ed. 1/3 (+ 2 AP)
80 x 100 cm (31 1/2 x 39 3/8 in.), framed
KASPA18367

Press Release

“Why work for the bling, when you can just take it?”, asks journalist Tricia Romano in an article describing a group of fame-obsessed teenagers who met at Indian Hills High School in Los Angeles. In 2009, The Bling Ring (L.A. Times) used the Internet to track A-list Hollywood celebritiesʼ whereabouts and rob their homes while they were away. Victims included stars Paris Hilton, Orlando Bloom, Lindsay Lohan, Ashley Tisdale, Rachel Bilson, Brian Austin Green, Megan Fox, and Audrina Patridge.

The group called their hits “going shopping” and selected the targets based on their fashion choices. The accused are only a few years apart in age from their victims. They frequented the same clubs and tried to blend in with Young Hollywood at chic places like Les Deux nightclub and Miyagiʼs bar on Sunset Boulevard, wearing the same types of designer clothes. The resemblance of one of the burglars to Lindsay Lohan was so striking that some bloggers speculated that Lohan had actually robbed her own house when the video of the security camera became public. Pairing Internet savvy with celebrity obsession, they tracked TMZ and other blogs for tips on when their alleged targets would be out partying. The group compiled an extensive database of mansions found by trolling various websites including celebrityaddressaerial.com. It seems only fitting, then, that the police also used Internet technology to turn the tables on the suspects. Investigators used Facebook and Myspace to determine that the suspects were friends.

Sofia Coppola recently adapted the story for The Bling Ring (2013), which is rumored to premiere at this yearʼs film festival in Cannes, mixing fictional elements with the actual occurrences. At the same time journalist Nancy Jo Sales will publish her book on the story. Sales was one of the first to pick up the story when she interviewed members of The Bling Ring for Vanity Fair magazine.

In the exhibition Tobias Kaspar will be showing a series of photographs touching on the theme of The Bling Ring. Kaspar created the photographs during a recent residency in Los Angeles. Among them is a photograph of a café table with its usual generic devices, including a tablet computer showing photos of actress Emma Watson on the set of The Bling Ring (2013), another photograph shows an assemblage of newspaper, photo and smartphone, on its screen a photo of a woman holding a Hermès Birkin Bag (See invitation card, silver gelatin print, 2013, Ed. of 3). Apart from the photographs, Tobias Kaspar will be showing an artwork in form of a book, conceived in collaboration with Egija Inzule, including further material on the topic of The Bling Ring and with contributions by Mikael D. Brkic and Mathew Sova, Alex Gartenfeld, as well as Bruce Hainley and Hannes Loichinger. Wigger Bierma designed the book.