Monday, January 14, 2008

O Corpo Frágil

I stopped by Venetia Kapernekas Gallery Saturday to check out Silence in the Light, a collaborative show with Noritoshi Hirakawa, Hiroshi Sunairi, and Arto Lindsay. I knew that I was going to be a sucker for this show because of Arto Lindsay. Yeah, yeah. DNA. No Wave. Whatevever. I'll always hold a special place in my heart for the guy because of his 1996 album, O Corpo Sutil (The Subtle Body). It's one of the most gorgeous, odd, and perfect albums ever recorded.

But I digress. Well, actually, not so much.

Lindsay's lyric served as an anchor of sorts for me over in its corner of the room. The beautiful photographs by Noritoshi Hirakawa have a cold distance only enhanced by their low hanging positions on the wall. Their placement also augmented the feeling of voyeurism for which Hirakawa is known. There was something about having to lean down a bit to look that made the experience feel slightly illicit. Hiroshi Sunairi's sculpture in the middle of the room consists of bits and pieces of an elephant in ceramics. Which brings me back to Arto Lindsay's lyric on the wall.

The artists invited the songwriter to write a song without music, and its absence creates a phantom limb of sound. The tune is out there somewhere, like the landscapes in Hirakawa's photographs and the ghost of the elephant that has seemed to shed itself in bits and pieces. We can feel the presence of all these things, but we can't quite touch them. We are blinded by their silence. We always are.

Click here for images on the gallery site.

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