January 17 - February 22, 2008
Opening reception January 17, 7-9 pm
Rivington Arms is proud to present Closer Now, our first group video exhibition. Aran, Johnson, Ledare, and Uruma are not exclusively video artists, each work with other mediums including sculpture, photography, and performance. In these four videos the artists explore the duality of tension and relationships - between mother and child, artist and muse, life and death, grief and humor. The artist’s presence is integral to their work, either on camera or through their audible off-screen direction.
Seemingly oppositional qualities of grief and comedy work in concert to explore both belief and doubt - Belief in sentiment and experience but doubt about the purposes for which they are deployed.
I have been working with my mother over the past few years, making photographs and videos. This video reveals the implicit tensions within a mother daughter relationship. It also explores the issue of age and the shifts that occur. The balance between shame, uncertainty and confidence is in constant fluctuation.
Leigh Ledare’s single channel video The Model consists of an image of Ledare’s mother, eyes closed, lying nearly motionless in a hospital bed. Having directly undergone a surgery she appears still anesthetized. Paired with this visual is an unedited audio recording made the day prior to the surgery. In this reflection Ledare has his mother discuss the relationship of the model to the photographer. A glimpse into her viewpoint as the subject of her son’s work, her statement alludes to issues of dependence and authorship that arise in their relationship. Conflating his mother, the model, with his mother, the patient, Ledare focuses on the gap between the violence inherent in the act of representation and the anticipated, yet knowingly uncertain, results of that action. In The Model, Ledare’s mother has undergone two separate yet seemingly related operations: one surgical, one artistic. She is found held in a state of suspended awareness, prior to awakening to discover the results of these operations. Reflecting succinctly and directly about the act of being photographed, her speech is both an expression of the discrepancy between self-projection and representation, and a plea to be redeemed as a creative individual.
kiss is a short video which I recorded myself while visiting an unknown, a transient occupant of a welfare mortuary in Osaka. In this small industrial hometown where I grew up, the funded funerals of the homeless people are served daily by the every local authorities of Osaka. Each homeless body awaits their guest 42 hours until he is being taken to the crematory within their own shrines.
In kiss, the viewer witnesses the tension builds up as I lift up a coffin cover and a night porter enters the room. I hastily leave the mortuary after our lips meets.
This brief bodily encounter was shot by using a hand-held camera, the video present a straight observation of my problematic interrelationship between self and perverted otherness within multiple identities. Ambivalent nature of this event continues to reflect the duality of kissing as a gesture of “Hello” or “Good-bye”.