080609: Mori Art Museum: The Kaleidoscopic Eye: Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary Collection

Mori Art Museum: The Kaleidoscopic Eye: Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary Collection Bright prospects The soi-disant kaleidoscopic principle can be construed in two different ways: the breaking up, reinterpreting, and remodelling of a contemplative reality – a kind of phenomenological insecurity – or, based on Olafur Eliasson’s words, as “playing with the fact that what we see can easily be messed up or reassembled.” This becomes even more meaningful, as Eliasson, whose works are among the main attractions of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary Collection, are also present at the exhibition currently shown in Tokyo: “The Kaleidoscopic Eye”. The joint Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary and Mori Art Museum exhibition aims at letting the inspiring title of the “kaleidoscopic eye” be understood in terms of Eliasson’s explicitly stated option. After all, both curators Daniela Zyman (T-B A21) and Araki Natsumi (Mori) quote the famous Icelander in their respective catalogues. Moreover, one could conceive the kaleidoscopic message according to the word’s etymology as “beautiful to look at”: considering the current rather rough conditions this opens a gateway to a comforting escape from reality. There definitely won’t be any talk of fancy salon art, as the T-B A21 stock is synonymous with progressive contemporary and opulently space filling art. As for example Klaus Weber’s “Public LSD Fountain”, conceptualized for public space, in which psychedelic drugs gurgle in a homeopathic dose (including a certificate of authenticity by the Japanese Homeopathic Society). Well worth seeing are the subtly awkward photo collages by the young artist Haris Epaminonda. A large number of the works presented at this exhibition are well known and were created by renowned artists such as Janet Cardiff, Hans Schabus, Matthew Ritchie or Sarah Lucas. In view of targeting a new audience and the quality of these works it seems advisable to rely on established products. Practically as a central theme - mirrors, light effects, and metallic shiny surfaces accompany the entire exhibition, as in works by Tracey Emin, Cerith Wyn Evans, Carsten Höller, Jim Lambie, Jeppe Hein, John M. Armleder or Olafur Eliasson. Together they form a dazzling and glittering collection of gold laminate, glass chandeliers, disco balls, light pillars, and mirror walls. In the latter, as one knows through Jacques Lacan, lies the justification for the inadequacy of reality, in which a fragmentary human being, who spends his entire life trying to fix imaginary relationships, is captured in a symbolic order. This again allows an inference to Olafur Eliasson’s thought mentioned at the beginning of this text. And above all, it fits well into an exhibit on the top floor of a skyscraping tower with a panoramic view over one of the most important cities of our crisis ridden globe, offering a momentary evasion from the far too bitter reality. By Daniel Kalt Mori Art Museum Tokyo, Roppongi Hills Mori Tower (53f), 6-10-1 Roppongi Minato-Ku, until 05.07.09 www.mori.art.museum

Mori Art Museum
Tokyo, Roppongi Hills Mori Tower (53f), 6-10-1 Roppongi Minato-Ku
Email: info@mori.art.museum
Öffnungszeiten: Mi-Mo 10-22, Di 10-17 h

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