Submission No. 30

Miriam says, Taro has a show up right now at Swarm in Oakland. I haven’t seen it yet—it was pouring the evening of the opening as though that’s any excuse. I have until January 20, and so do you. Meanwhile, here are some images to think on.

Taro Hattori, Apophasis

taro-apophasis07 taro-apophasis05

This mobile, porous, missile-like sculpture, constructed of wood (or cardboard? it’s hard to see) strikes me as comic, more than anything. It’s shape, so phallic, so streamlined, yet oddly broken-up and angular too, is a play on industrial design. It mocks usefulness, weaponry, perhaps our capitalistic state’s priorities.

The first two photographs, one showing this sculpture against a natural, desert backdrop and then the other showing it against an urban, industrial backdrop (we see a freighter being unloaded at a dock by a massive  Hanjin crane), draw attention to a possible omnipresence, almost an immutability, to this sculpture. It is a lurker (aren’t we all?), off-center, questioning. It suggests to me the immutable threat of nuclear annihilation: always there, silent, purposeful, but odd, of another perspective than our everyday one.

Then the third photograph, of a disassembled version of this sculpture, scattered about a space at the base of a stairwell in the lobby of a neo-classical building, surprises us. So the sculpture was mutable, perishable, after all. Is it being built again? Or disassembled? We don’t know. Now it’s just biodegradable material, splashed with sun. Even the security guard at his table has turned his attention away from it.

The construction, the color palate, the attractive, light wheels, the nipple-like nose of this missile — all of these elements are certainly pleasing to the eye. It pleases. The humor is quiet but contagious. Yet there is some element that is missing too: it strikes me as one component of a larger work, like a single item taken from a young boy’s battlefield diorama; I want to see the vision as a whole. Perhaps the show at Swarm provides this? Let’s go!

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About Tom Clyde

The best place to learn about me is to read my riffs. What could be more revealing? Cheeky, maybe, but true enough.

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