Thursday, July 11, 2013

art in action: sincere cappuccino

The works I like most is always the art I don't understand, those that stick in mind but eludes in every other way. This is very true of Aki Sasamoto, whose studio I visited recently.
Japanese artist who has been living in New York for over 8 years, gained attention for her multimedium installation/performances at the 2010 Whitney Biennial. More recently, her first solo exhibition in New York featured humble dollar-store materials in an expansive, ephemeral installation of sound and sculpture titled Talking in Circles in Talking. The gallery walls were transformed into a climbing-wall-cum-whiteboard, creating a backdrop for several performances.

Sasamoto placed eight stainless-steel mixing bowls on the floor around the narrow gallery. An ice pick stood upright inside each bowl, and on its sharp tip balanced a smaller steel bowl, face down. Above these precarious contraptions hung large chunks of ice suspended in loosely woven baskets made of brightly colored shoelaces. As the ice melted, the pinging of the drips on the metal was amplified through small microphones, filling the gallery with percussive, Tin Pan Alley-like sounds. Frozen inside the ice were small items, including keys, eyeglasses and wristwatches, symbolizing the "owned" nature of objects. According to Sasamoto, at the time of death, people become the objects that they are physically close to, in the way ice becomes water—a theory she articulated during her performances. continue reading
Sasamoto performances are surreal, self-contained worlds of free associations that marry distorted everyday objects with lectures and monologues, which are both melancholy and amusing. Perhaps neither the artist nor the viewer can fully comprehend what is taking place, but Sasamoto has found her own way of deferring that understanding. As she says everything we don't comprehend goes inside a pickling pot with the hope that it tastes better in the future

Sunday, July 7, 2013

film: Helter Skelter

Famous supermodel and idol Lilico holds a dark secret that soon is to come out, her seemingly beautiful body was created entirely through plastic surgery. Mika Ninagawa beauty horror based on popular manga meant to be critical towards idol industry but in many ways turned out exactly opposite. Ninagawa being a fashion photographer is part of the industry herself and perhaps in her case it does not help to be critical.

The film is two hours of madly colorful production cloying obvious commentary presented through regrettably extended scenes.The director however pushes our tolerance for that glorious gaudiness too far. It feels like flipping through the glossy fashion magazine with too little content, which is rather hard to endure.