Also this year the Japan pavilion at the Venice Biennale was one of my favourite country pavilions. Takahiro Iwasaki was selected to show “Turned Upside Down, It’s a Forest“.
Takahiro Iwasaki (°1975, Japan) sculpts miniature landscapes from unexpected materials. Drawing on Japan’s industrial history, Iwasaki recreates factories, ferris wheels and radio towers that present a snapshot of a bygone era. Far from being glamourous monuments, Iwasaki’s sculptures are melancholy, recalling the trauma of warfare, and more recent natural disasters in Japan and its psychological impact.
Australia presented Tracy Moffatt with “My Horizon” showing 2 new photographic series and 2 films. Tracey Moffatt is one of Australia’s best known and internationally exhibited artists and the first indigenous Australian artist to represent her country at the Venice Biennale since 1997.
Her work strikes the right political chords, but does so in a highly stylish manner. Moffatt does not take photographs; she stages them, as if they are scenes from a film. As much as Moffatt’s work is about pain, it is also about glamour.
In the series Body Remembers we view Moffatt herself as the maid in an isolated location. Moffatt alludes to memories, and discontent and its aftermath but the narrative is all up to the viewer.
And finally I would love to mention paintings by the African-American artist McArthur Binion (°1946 Mississippi). Completed between 2014 and 2016, the DNA series consists of abstract patterns painted on top of color copies of Binion’s birth certificate and pages from the address book he kept from the 1970s to 1992 when he left New York to teach in Chicago. Or how to make captivating paintings with words and biography!
To read more:
Takahiro Iwasaki – “Turned Upside Down. It’s a Forest”.
Tracey Moffatt – My Horizon, the book.
Interview with McArthur Binion.