A Zone of Her Own

Purity and belief are more important to Mori than pure originality. To Mori, immediacy is all. Her art is not designed for depth; surface is everything. Her world begins and ends in artifice. It's as if she has invented some interestingly aberrant form of Donald Judd's "specific object," neither entirely commercial nor entirely art, but something new. Like Yayoi Kusama before her, Mori uses trippy razzle-dazzle as raw material. Meticulous, precious, and ingratiating, her art is slick. Combine this slickness with her sense of spectacle and spirituality, and you have an artist who elicits not only wonder from her audiences, but ambivalence and sometimes the creeps.

Mori’s psychic building blocks are glamour, mysticism, and sheer optical extravagance: Burning Desire (1996–98). 
courtesy Deitch Projects, New York, and the Brooklyn Museum of Art
Mori’s psychic building blocks are glamour, mysticism, and sheer optical extravagance: Burning Desire (1996–98). 

Details

'Mariko Mori: Empty Dream'
Brooklyn Museum of Art
200 Eastern Parkway
Through August 15

But it's important not to get caught up in preconceptions or expectations. Mori isn't altogether original, but she is an original. Her art is not profound, but it is profoundly present. Like Matthew Barney, Mori is the star of her art; she's in every picture. Unlike Barney, she is not inventing her mythology or her visual universe. For all the lavish attention to detail and the optical splendor she generates, her art lacks a personal touch. Instead, she fervently believes in total collaboration. This, in conjunction with her ardent sincerity, brings the work of Jeff Koons to mind. Mori's art has a wild, insane streak running through it, but she lacks Koons's messianic obsessiveness. Photography may not be big enough to hold Mori's magical vision. For now, she is defining an intriguing in-between space and floats in a zone of her own.

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
All
 
My Voice Nation Help
0 comments
 
New York Concert Tickets
Loading...