Hiraku Suzuki, Takuro Osaka
"Far Away from the Surface"
2011.11.19 – 2011.12.28
We live on a peculiar surface of the earth where the imaginary and the symbolic mix into one, seeing a once virtualized and homogenized world suddenly turned into a heap of rubble. After the collapse of the Meta Narrative – a stage of individual life and resistance – we are now anxious for national regulation instead of market autonomy, distributions instead of mutual aid, and the truth instead of simulacra, as compensation for suffering Great Uncertainty. Such humanistic desires cannot be disguised by any concept as a label, only melt down into the horizon of post-human, with no barrier between interior and exterior. This monotonous layer over the earth is not conceptual, nor visible, but a mysterious amalgam of image and symbol. We exist as aesthetic noises, functioning as nodes or interfaces transmitting source-unknown information. The surface of this world is covered with a single layer consisting of unseparable image and symbol. This layer over the earth is generated by inventions of mechanical reproduction in the late 19th century and spread throughout the world by media technology. If all artists in the past had made great efforts to symbolize images or visualize symbols, that art would end up being merely one of the visual cultures today. In such mass-media dominant circumstances, the border between subjectivity and objectivity becomes blurred and so the difference between the imaginary and the symbolic gradually vanishes, dissolving into a single amalgam. In this view, visual arts from the 20th century could be seen as the history of desperate resistance against the fusion of visual image and symbols in order to end this endless circulation of Ouroboros. Nevertheless, with the accelerating development of information technology in the late 20th century, this layer over the surface of the world has become a global amalgam. We stand on this surface, covered with the layer of image/symbol. It is not the utopia that once we dreamed of, but an ordinary landscape around us, a city where we walk, and a strict precondition of artistic practice.
What art can be done on this surface of the earth? One of the possibilities is a practice that takes off from the surface or that burrows into the ground. These possibilities are demonstrated by a series of drawings made by Hiraku Suzuki and a work of illumination by Takuro Osaka, a light artist who carry outs artistic experiments using artificial lights. Takuro Osaka makes the surface of the ground invisible by using LED lights which turn on and off, reacting to signals from a device that perceives cosmic radiation in the air. His work blurs the difference between natural and manmade, and art and technology. It is a prayer that takes us to a place we never knew. Icons drawn by Hiraku Suzuki appear in that place where time and space are breached. They are engraved not on the surface, but on the fault line. His drawings dig up the continuity of the surface; they dissect the images and symbols until a dislocation appears under the ground. The fragments of images and symbols depicted by Hiraku’s drawing do not become mere pieces of information, but remain raw material. These works represent something to be recalled now and perceived later, not like our usual recognition of art as objects or events. They are not limited by time and space. They come into the world as they fade away from the world. What rises in front of us is an exquisite noise of artworks that are and will be distinct from any other things, because they cannot be labeled by any concept, nor visualized by illustrations. We can find our apperception of new aesthetics only by perceiving those invisible signals.