This past week, I felt very bodily. Maybe it's the heat which is causing me to show more flesh (remembering I have just come out of two winters!!!) or maybe because it's 'that time of the month' for me. Either ways, this work both repulsed and intrigued me. It is a video/sculpture work by Naotaka Hiro on exhibit last year at Las Cienaga Projects, here in Los Angeles as part of a two person show.
Hiro is a Japanese born artist living and working in Los Angeles and his practice is all about the body; particularly focusing on the unseen parts of our bodies. In this video, Hiro takes on the role of a puppeteer with an animals intestine filled with minced meat, creating a very long sausage like form. During the video, the viewer is exposed to a play between the organic form of the meat and the static and hard surface of the pyramid-like sculpture, manipulated entirely by Hiro with a string.
The video stills above suggest not only a play with organic and non-organic matter but we see a strong relationship with the gloss surface of the two conflicting materials. This ties the forms together in a poetic play of opposite attracts. These opposing materials create a beautiful image of attraction and repulsion, all in the same breath. We are reminded of our own bodily relationship to non-organic materials and things, such as our bodily relationship to the automobile. Two opposing forces that once upon a time would have been unfathomable to imagine we could actually travel faster than a cheetah in a metal contraption in the future.
What remains after the poetic play of these two forms is the monolithic pyramid sculpture and the remains of the string that powered the dance of the meat stuffed intestine. It is a sad ending for the organic matter but a beautiful reminder of what we, as organic matter, are dealing with in our very fragile and short lived lives.
Unfortunately, I could not find much information about this work, so the details of materials, duration of the video and it's size are not available. Never-the-less, this work communicates on a poetic scale that is beyond it's dimensions, duration or details of it's media. I'll be keeping an eye out for Hiro's next exhibition and do hope I will be in town for his next show.