Sunday, May 4, 2008

Mariko Mori at the PinchukArtCentre

The PinchukArtCentre in Kiev currently exhibits the works of Japanese artist Mariko Mori.

Mariko Mori’s work is influenced by modern popular culture, design, fashion, music, manga, Shinto, Buddhism, and science fiction. She deals with the contrast between utopia and reality in her paintings, photography, 3D-videos, sculptures, installations, and performance.
The exhibition at the PinchukArtCentre is a wide ranging retrospective from Mori’s early works of mainly photographic images to her more recent multimedia installations and sculptures.

The main “object” is an installation called “Oneness” in the Arena entertainment complex where visitors enter a spaceship like structure. It was created by Mori after the terrorist attack in 9/11 in NYC. It is an interactive installation with six aliens standing in a circle and holding hands. It attempts to convey the idea of openness and overcoming the fear of the unknown; it also serves as a metaphor of society’s attitude towards outcasts and principally calls to overcome prejudices.

If that sounds a bit “gimmicky”... I was most impressed by her art works that deal with the notion of “time” and the connection of past – present – future… both in an abstract way and by way of linking to ancestors or ancient cultures… Examples are: her photo project “Beginning of the end” (which displays herself in a time capsule in three distinct time periods); “Primal Memory” which explores the Jomon period (ca. 13,000 – 12,000 B.C.) and the ceremonies of transcendence; “Transcircle” which investigates the seamless link between life and death; and the most impressive “Tom Na H-IU” light sculpture which is “powered” by a neutrino detector based in Japan that counts neutrinos which reach the earth from space and account for the death of stars… Light is for her “evidence of being in this world”… as a photographer I can only nod in fervent agreement…

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