MIKA TAJIMA | ULTERIOR

MIKA TAJIMA | ULTERIOR

Opening November 20, 2018

Until January 16, 2019

MIKA TAJIMA
Ulterior

 
Ulterior intimates a macro body conditioned by an unseen infrastructure and force.  The exhibition brings Mika Tajima’s Pranayama sculptures, Negative Entropy and Art d’Ameublement paintings into material relation with the psychic and corporeal experience of power and control. In her work, Tajima examines the technologies that control and effect the body, and now target our senses, emotions and psyches. These days living under the imperative of technology, we acknowledge, resist and submit to various forms and systems of control—a kind of balance of acceptance and refusal, and a search for escape.
 
Consisting of carved wood monoliths and marble mask forms punctured with chromed Jacuzzi jets, the Pranayama sculptures appear to mediate two separate spaces—serving as membrane, portal or filter between the immediate and the beyond.  The gold jet nozzle patterns on the monoliths trace actual meridian acupressure points that control and release the energy flows in the human body. The perforated sculptures imply an outward escape of a vast and abstract interior into the exhibition space like forced air. This exhalation is countered by the impression of the body form carved into the rigid wood. A tension between the body and the invisible occurs on the plane of the sculpture. 
 
The marble Pranayama is carved in the shape of a respirator mask and punctured by a single chromed jet.  Derived from a protection device to filter the environment, the calcified form now appears as a prosthetic blockade between the self and outside world. In Ayurvedic practice, the term “pranayama” refers to the control of breath and the regulation of individual life force. 
 
The abstract woven Negative Entropy textile works underline the implied systems, conduits, and energy in the exhibition Ulterior.  These are acoustic portraits of material production that cannot be readily seen but are substantial to our physical world—data flows at a cloud computing infrastructure, production of nano-medical devices at a biotechnology lab, and vast energy being generated at a plasma fusion generator.  The works are transmutations of audio field recordings made in these locations—sound information to material object. What is captured and remains hidden is woven within the material itself.
 
The ambient Art d’Ameublement paintings are gradients of aerated paint suspended in clear acrylic boxes.  Released from a pressurized container, the emitted pigments are captured on the inside surface of the painting to create a mirror-like object that simultaneously reflects an exterior space and reveals its interior support. The subtitles of these paintings are deserted islands—places unreachable and unknowable.

 
Mika Tajima (b. 1975, Los Angeles) lives and works in New York.
Selected recent solo exhibitions include Æther (Borusan Contemporary, Istanbul), TOUCHLESS (Taro Nasu, Tokyo), AIR (Raster Gallery, Warsaw), After Life (Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford), Meridian (Gold) (Sculpture Center, New York), Emotion Commune (Protocinema, Istanbul). Selected recent group exhibitions include Programmed Rules, Codes, and Choreographies in Art, 1965-2018,(Whitney Musuem of American Art, COLORI (Castello di Rivoli and GAM, Torino), All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace(Palais de Tokyo, Paris), Roppongi Crossing (Mori Art Center, Tokyo) and more. She was the recipient of the New York Artadia Award in 2017.