Midori Harima: This is a Mirror

June 7, 2023 – August 5, 2023
Shirley Fiterman Art Center

81 Barclay Street
New York, NY

Image courtesy of the exhibition organizer.

Image courtesy of the exhibition organizer.

This is a Mirror, an exhibition of work by Midori Harima, is on view in the South Gallery of the Shirley Fiterman Art Center from June 7 through August 5, 2023. Harima’s installation features video, photography, printmaking, and sculptural works that investigate aspects of originality and reproduction, ephemerality and permanence, and human consumption and value systems.

Harima is a Japanese artist currently based in Kanagawa, Japan. She lived for 16 years in the US, residing first on the West Coast, then in New York City, and returned to Japan in 2017. Through living in the US, Midori found “a plurality of self,” redefining her concept of “I” as not one, but a multiplicity. This thought process led to her increasing interest in printmaking, which became the basis for her video work This is a Mirror, after Camnitzer. Her title is a reference to This is a Mirror, You Are a Written Sentence from 1966-68, by Luis Camnitzer, a pioneering figure of conceptual art and noted printmaker. A print is created through the contact between two things–a plate or a screen and a sheet of paper, and for Harima the essence of that process reflects the state of being a foreigner.

From May 2015 to April 2016, Harima saved all the non-perishable garbage that she generated each day. Each evening, she used the refuse to create a sculpture that she then photographed and documented. Through this project, which she subsequently titled Democracy Demonstrates, Harima created a diary of her daily life. In photographing these 366 works, she also created a kind of self-portrait that simultaneously illustrates broader patterns of consumption. Midori treats trash as a material that is just as valuable and viable as any other—and in this sense presents a “democratic” approach to aesthetics, as well as a means of questioning of our own hierarchies and value systems.