Dealing with “Identity of Unsettled”, Endless Rally
Akihiko Takami, art critic / curator of αm project 2007
Accumulation of tape twists in form of a roll or becomes a frame that, repeating form of the wall, inhales space. Stratified mass of putty covers gap between an installed object and the wall… In his early works, Makihara uses such media as gammed tape and putty, experimenting with transforming the substance itself in artwork. At first sight, these works might look like delayed "Monoha", but rolled tape, carrying critical humor (seen for example in overwhelmingly wrapped peanuts), without changing way of usage of tape and putty itself, but producing the bias of his usage amplification, aims at shaking the phenomena of being belonged itself; the belonging, that exists around common laws and attribution of things.
At this stage, his art works seem to excessively point on their raw material side or action they re-present. But looking at works exhibited on "re-pair" (2003), like representation of fingerprints and stamps, that were caught in an image by application of putty, or combination of restoration and destruction processes in replicas, which were bought in Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor and Coliseum in Rome, I find that abandoning of the frame "material- medium- object" and expansion of the object to ready-made and daily/social phenomenon sustain and deepen the same concept. There is patient durability of this stance in art of many young artists, who can easily play with variety of image self-reproduction and information editing.
Makihara’s progress is based on "re-pair" concept: two connected birdcages (one is bought in old-instruments- shop, second is its deliberate replica) (2004), pair of postcards of world legacy sights in process of restoration or postcard of a famous tourist spot and a photo of the same object (photo precisely repeats composition of the postcard), video of abandoned house being demolished (replayed from the beginning to end and vise-versa simultaneously on two screens) (2005).
Thing broken or worn out differs from what it was originally. "Pair" bears the meaning of "couple" as much as of "equality". In the same way "re-pair" signifies, that even if I can fix broken, deformed object, this repaired object will never be the same with its primal self. Neither perfect copy, nor totally different thing… No need to say, this art points to the problem, that a world produced by human desire and technology, a world of cloning and gene engineering, has already raised: the problem of unstable borderline between self and the other.
Thrown away bird-cage, postcard with sights, demolishment of an abandoned house – totally different images, each observed with effective method. These three art works that can provoke a trance-like effect in face of medium that touches the identity of unsettled, reaching the root of the world, are calling to pay attention to the birth of the artist worth to know. In exhibition called "Free Size" (2006) a badminton player throwing shuttlecock is filmed in gym each in different day. They are replayed in the form of a match on two opposed monitors. Metal scaffold of construction sight is presented in the form and size of plastic model kit. But in different occasion, real metal pipes are represented inside the building as a kit. Pieces of dried meat are hung in labyrinth-like passages of temporal pipe construction. Those who try to avoid it lead themselves to pre-defined way, like a mouse in a trap. Giant bread was baked in a big kiln and brought for the exhibition in former Hiroshima Branch of Bank of Japan (2007). To turn usual in trance-provoking by excessive acceleration of repetition of an action and purification- this strategy can be found in methods of such hard-core conceptional artists. To uncover numerous phenomena within human world which, following lead of senses, were submerged in the imaginary, Makihara’s art sensitively discloses bodily and psychological fluctuations. His art is revealed through tough rally with this fluctuation, born in relationship with sense of scale, distance and time, which captures us in images of daily things and actions. He is an artist of the new generation with structure and possibilities that connect him with the battle line of the conceptual art movement and its suspense, which, regretfully, is treated like nothing more than a style of contemporary art in this "beautiful country".
"αm project ON THE TRAIL vol.1 Taisuke MAKIHARA
Published by Musashino Art University, July 2007