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MAT Exhibition vol.1
THE BEGINNINGS (or Open-Ended)
Report | Shihoko Iida


The opening exhibition “THE BEGINNINGS (or Open-Ended)” symbolizes a chain of creative attempts and their development started in the port town. Under the theme of “Open-Ended”, this ever-lasting/changing exhibition implying multiple beginnings was made of two different parts with the same pair of artists in each part. The video work exhibited throughout two parts, The Way Things Go (1986-87) by Peter Fischli / David Weiss, is a masterpiece that captured chain reaction and movements just like falling dominoes, by applying invisible energy such as gravity, buoyancy and centrifugal force. It represents mobility, liquidity and contingency that objects themselves possess by adapting natural dynamics that are not entirely under human control. The work that made a great impact on contemporary artists including Yuko Mohri, therefore became highly symbolic in this exhibition in terms of showing continuity among phenomena loosely hooked up.

Meanwhile, Mohri, who exhibited her earlier work at the first part, worked on a new piece for the second part over a half year through her dialogue with The Way Things Go being exhibited in the same space. Mohri, who has been remarkably active in recent years, is known for her works using ordinary items you find anywhere such as feather duster, electric bulb and bell, combined with her hand-made instruments. Ofuna Flower Center on which she worked from time to time since 2011 and exhibited in the first part, is one of the typical installations by the artist, having distinctive features to present chain reactions of movements as random bell sounds, revolving objects or blinking light caused by slight electrical current when censers react to motion of viewers or compass needle.
In the new work fort-da, 7 scanners keep recording the motions of each object as digital data as if it’s an image generation factory behind the temporary wall built in the space. 7 images in the digital data got printed out and exhibited in the front space entitled Pleated image. The image appeared on paper is transient and accidental- namely, the process is to randomly recrystallize digital signals. The new work referring to impossibility to fix motion has great novelty and beauty that is beyond the definition of “photography”.

The exhibition was realized not only by efforts of artists and supporters around, but also by the flexibility and mobility of MAT, Nagoya and Joint Committee of Port Town. Especially, MAT, Nagoya’s support system throughout creation process encouraged the artist to develop this “Mohri style” interpretation on image theory. The mission of MAT, Nagoya that aspires to make Minatomachi POTLUCK BUILDING not only a place for exhibitions but also a place for creation and interactive social gatherings to support artists with different approaches and life styles, enabled Mohri to stay in Nagoya several times during the preparation period.

MAT, Nagoya that aims to relate one art project to another, showed its presence as a catalyst through the achievement, and the process was adapted to their studio program offered afterward. I am pleased with the outcome of the grand opening exhibition that made a substantial contribution to both the artists and MAT, Nagoya, and very much looking forward to their next step.

Shihoko Iida

Curator / Associate Professor of Tokyo University of the Arts