Naotaka Hiro: Pit & Log

When 8 Sep 2013 - 20 Oct 2013
Where Brennan & Griffin
55 Delancey Street
New York, NY 10002
United States
Enquiry 212.227.0115

Naotaka Hiro, The Pit (Dancer with Golden Lips), (2013), HD Digital Video still. Courtesy of the artist.

September 8 – October 20, 2013

Press release:

Brennan & Griffin is pleased to present Pit & Log, an exhibition of new works by Naotaka Hiro.  Throughout Hiro’s practice, the artist’s body has served as the foundation for his exploration of the unknown.  The artist’s body parts, only viewable through a mediated form such as a mirror or camera, become the impetus for investigation.  In previous works, the skull, intestines, and anus have been transmuted in various process and performance-based sculpture and video works.  For this exhibition, the artist’s skin becomes the subject of interrelated drawings, sculptures, and video.

In the video The Pit (Dancer with Golden Lips), (all works 2013), Hiro uses a latex cast of his head with a split through the face and a hole cut through the occiput. Worn as a mask with his gold-painted mouth fitting into the hole, the artist’s lips move in an improvised sequence where the void within his mouth evokes the uncanny nature of a black hole.  Hiro’s visceral performance combines an experience with stress-induced alopecia with the futakuchi-onna, a two-mouthed woman from Japanese folklore.  The artist manipulates his body, mask, and camera to create a composite image in order to merge the seen and unseen, human and synthetic.

The Log is a bronze cast of half of the artist’s body from left hand to right foot.  Here, the limitations of Hiro’s reach serve as a topological map by which the artist records the “exploration” of a territorial path in attempting to replicate his body with his right hand.  While the bronze resembles a peeled or flattened skin, the process, time, and labor of its creation are imbued within the distortion and fragmentation of the finished work.

Two Mouths, a latex, burlap, and steel sculpture, utilizes materials and props from The Pit (Dancer with Golden Lips), including the latex cast of Hiro’s head, to create a loose, wraith-like form.  This shell or stand-in for the artist is illuminated through the ambient light of the video projection where the shadow image completes the figuration.  Groups of pencil and acrylic works on paper further illustrates the artist’s process, serving as fragmented narratives and storyboards for his video and sculpture.

Naotaka Hiro was born in Osaka, Japan and lives and works in Los Angeles.  He has previously mounted Solo Exhibitions at The Box, Los Angeles, Misako & Rosen and Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo, and has participated in Screenings and Group Exhibitions at The Tate Modern, London, Prague Biennial 1, Prague, and Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo among others.  This is Hiro’s first Solo Exhibition with Brennan & Griffin.

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