The New York City gallery Brennan & Griffin presents CalArts alumnus Naotaka Hiro’s (Film/Video MFA 00) latest solo exhibition, Pit & Log.
Hiro, born in Japan and based in Los Angeles, uses his own body—and body matter—as a springboard into the unknown. He is best-known for works that combines voyeurism with ancient Pacific Rim mythology, often using his own anatomy as a component of his art.
In the video installation The Pit (Dancer With Golden Lips), Hiro constructs a latex cast of his head with a split through the face and a hole cut through the back of the head. He then fits his gold painted mouth through the hole and his lips move through an improvised sequence, the void within his mouth suggesting a black hole. The video draws on Japanese folklore depicting the futakuchi-onna, a woman with two mouths—one on her face and the other behind her head, hidden by her hair.
Also in the exhibit is The Log, a bronze cast of half the artist’s body from left hand to right foot. Hiro worked alone in his studio to create the cast, stopping at the limit of his right hand’s reach.
From the press release:
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.
Utilizing the props used in The Pit (Dancer With Golden Lips), Hiro creates Two Mouths, a wraith-like sculpture made of latex, burlap and steel meant as a stand-in for the artist. Surrounding the figure is ambient light and a video installation, the scenes of which the sculpture completes. Pencil and acrylic works on paper serve as storyboards for the video installation.
Below, we posted a trailer for Pt. & Pt. (Foggy Day), Hiro’s 2011 video installation, made in collaboration with artist Sid M. Dueñas.
Pit & Log remains on view through Oct. 20.