Spirit Heart Soul Flesh Body @ Ritsuki Fujisaki Gallery
with Maggie Dunlap
Give the public free access to the memory and data banks (Lyotard, Jean-Francois. The Postmodern Condition. Manchester University Press, 1984.)
The excesses of contemporary society, characterized by war, sexual violence, and heinous crimes, are amplified by technological advancements, creating a feedback loop between event and representation. Social media platforms like TikTok serve as a stage for these episodic, sometimes startling, human experiences.
Death is an intensely personal event, yet the body enters a realm of anonymity post-mortem. There exist liminal spaces, moments neither alive nor dead—akin to crossing the River Styx or approaching the Pearly Gates In medical terms, death is typically confirmed through cardiopulmonary arrest. Thirty minutes post-mortem, livor mortis sets in. Blood descends due to gravity and pools in the body's lower extremities, causing a dark purple discoloration of the skin. This downward flow of blood is evocative of hair being caught in a drain, both signifying an irreversible process directed by natural forces. An hour after death, rigor mortis commences. Aerobic respiration ceases, depleting the oxygen needed for the synthesis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). As ATP levels drop, the body stiffens into a fixed pose, as if frozen in time—much like how a crime scene is immortalized in a photograph.
Rather than witnessing a consolidation of Spirit, Heart, Soul, Flesh, and Body, it is the transitions among these elements—across the physical and metaphysical, the personal and social, the analog and digital—that captivate us, drawing us into the mysteries of life and death.
ill omen 3 @ malpaís
with Claudia Dyboski + Cayetano Truyols
ill omen 3 invites us to navigate the hazy boundary between the familiar and the disconcerting, a labyrinthine journey through our most deeply rooted anxieties. The three artists conjure a realm where the ordinary is imbued with a haunting otherness, where the specter of the unknown lurks just beyond the veil of the everyday. In this space, we are confronted with the disquieting echoes of a world undone, a stark reflection of the tenuous threads that bind us to our fragile existence. The artists play between the tangible and the intangible, their works straddling the precipice between reality and dreams, truth and falsehood.
The first piece, a flag, looms in the shadows. The skull, pierced by needles, seems to solemnly preside over the scene, while the blood collection tube attached to the rotating fan stirs the air. Burning incense sticks cast a dim glow, their scent permeating the space with an uneasy nostalgia. Wandering through the darkness, an unexpected sight greets visitors: a horseshoe crab fused with a Roomba. This peculiar marriage of ancient and modern roams the venue, inviting contemplation on the passage of time and the merging of the natural and the artificial. Further along the path, the fragmented silhouette of a dismembered body materializes. Crafted from reflective fabric, the figure rests atop a discarded truck part. The sculpture, shimmering in the faint light, appears to be searching for solace in a world where comfort is scarce.
As we traverse the exhibition, we bear witness to the uncanny manifestations of our darkest fears. In ill omen 3, hope is ephemeral, flickering in and out like a candle struggling against the wind, while the abyss returns our gaze with a frigid, unyielding countenance. By exploring the interstices of our collective psyche, ill omen 3 compels us to confront the disconcerting duality that lies within us all, where the known and the unknown intertwine in a dance of convulsive beauty.
EASTEAST @ Science Museum
The sensation of tangled and wet hair serves as a poignant reminder of our struggle to break free from the mess that has become our lives. In the same way that we can feel lost and adrift in the emptiness of the ocean floor, we can also feel lost in the emptiness of our own minds, searching for something to hold onto and give us direction.
down4u @ Ritsuki Fujisaki Gallery
All along the shower floor, there’s hair. Long sinewy lines point towards the drain, where the hairs resolve in clumps over the tiny black holes. It always bothers me a little, that I can’t see where all this water goes—even more so now that the strands have formed a makeshift web over the drain. Yesterday, I saw a dreamcatcher dangling from a tree. It turned softly in the wind as a shriek erupts from the drain.
What happens to something when it becomes wet? Maybe the truth about wetness is love. I suspect that, at the core of the emotional structure which constitutes wetness, there is a process of self-division that ends in unification. At the microscopic level, I think it resembles cellular folding. It is both steady and resigned at once. The fractaling repeats until it begins to resemble a trembling, silent urgency.
Again it’s the “running” dream. I recognize the latency in my body immediately. It’s the vectorial vortex where I am continually pained by knowledge that I can move faster than this. I ooze my way through hallway after hallway, each lined with doors that are all slightly open. But I do know that behind the doors, each intentionally varied in coloration and material, there is an interconnected matrix of tunnels. Chutes for delivery. It’s likely they were built to expedite the exchange of medical supplies—is this a hospital? Without having to go inside the rooms, I know from where I am that I can’t pass through these tunnels. They’re too small. But something else can. I think it’s the malicious presence, or the reason I am “running”. Something echoes inside of these tunnels, but I don’t know yet what this dream stage is asking me to reveal about myself before I can progress further.
Because it frightens me, I become more likely to notice. Because it frightens me, we have now established a connection. Fear demands me to notice, sticking to me, like wet hair to a face. Horror is a kind of intimacy. I think I saw something, but did I imagine that? It’s not the imagination that frightens, I don’t think. What truly drives fear into my body is the possibility for my imagination to amass physical weight. There is the low gurgle of water rising in a bath somewhere nearby. My body has not made contact with any water in quite some time.
Text by wade dao
Alagya @ Like a Little Disaster
with Szilvia Bolla + Aron Lodi
Alagya is a research-based material exploration that aims to construct new possible forms of literacy to decode planetary life, and identity in the post-capitalocene through collaborative work and interplay between sculpture and text.
Based on both speculation and fact, it attempts to forge visionary pre-/reimaginations of technofossils as material traces of the capitalocene - the age when (pseudo-)commodity appears as a species that desires chaos and necrotizes the entire planet. Capital is the Sixth Extinction personified: it feasts on the dead, and in doing so, devours all life. A spectre that preys upon slow desolation as the residue of life in hydrocarbons becomes the residue of capital in petrochemical plastics.
ATK/0 DEF/10000 @ mcg21xoxo
suffering comes to me dressed in white and stands by the door. this casts a long shadow on the floor, stopping right before my feet. though there is no reason to panic, i instinctively reach for the bone card. in an unusual slowness, i experience the movement of my own hand. then the dreaded thought assails me: what if it isn’t there? before this intrusion of doubt can run wild, my fingertips have curled around familiar wrinkled pulp.
here there are no accidents, only ritual. for now i am safe again.
after sleep, i linger on, trying to remember how the bone card came to rest in my possession. it’s a pointless exercise—like movement without temperature. i begin to drift in the direction of weightlessness, but soon i come up against the boundaries of my memory. i close my eyes in a desperate attempt to advance just one step closer toward the mirror of fog. immediately the nausea comes after me, and my senses are overwhelmed by a piercing ring. i feel my stomach turn, as if trying to escape. soon the light leaves my eyes and the ringing noise distorts into a sickening drone.
when the elders ascended they left nothing for us to remember them by except their tools. some say that the strange staves were originally apotropaic, that the elders kept them close during their hunting rituals—believing them to ward off malicious spirits. others say that they were the weapons themselves. many theories have come and gone over time, each as hollow as the last. the only proof we have of the talismans are the bone cards which were harvested from their barbs and ridges. today, even the thought of the runes in their original state causes me to shiver. nobody knows how or why those runes work. all we know is they do, and without them, we’d never get to sleep. and if we’d never get to sleep, how else would we live with the constant presence of the drone?
only only makes sense if there’s nothing else @ darkZone
It makes sense that when the new language arrives, we’ll soak the old language in it. We’ll wring the damp rags and write down what’s wrung. It won’t be the new language, but for the time being, it will help us feel closer to color. Before the color is turned to dye, it will leak in a pool. Before it leaks in a pool, it will be mixed in a conversation. Before the conversation is reanimated in person, it’ll happen over the phone. Before the call terminates, we will have substituted the words for one another. We will have strung these words into our palms, like strands into a head. This will occur in the relative absence of one another, but for the time being, we will have our telegraphy.
I dream alone. The dream houses a heart. The heart houses a truth. The house feels like a game. The game feels like hide-and-seek. An argument, by the bridge. The bridge is not here, just later on, longer down the road.
Just north of Haiti, there’s an island named Tortuga. In Pirates of the Carribean, somebody—Jack, maybe—describes it as a place you can’t find unless you’ve been there before. Nobody else seems to remember this line from the movie. The pirates were right. I remember for the rest of my life.
It’s architectural, always. The interior space of imagination. This room is also me. Smaller details. Units within the larger unit. A room with drawers; a drawer with cabinets. It makes sense that I already know what’s inside them. They should stay closed. Danger again. Up, maybe, the staircase. It worked. It worked last time. Do I need to go where the doors are, because that’s where the table is? I need to sit at it, with the other two that are stuck there. If I don’t, I’m stuck in this room. I remember that I already know the words. I can still climb, I think—now I’m climbing. Because I’m climbing I forget the staircase. Outside. Of course! Mere moments ago, I was saving the cats. They were stuck in the two-story house. I’ll go back. I know trouble is on the way. I remember where I am; I sense the rules. I realize they’re the same.
Relief. So that’s why I’m here.
The only way out is to make sure all the cats are in the basket, where I can see them. I’ve got two out of three. I saw the last one just now, by the stairs, when I was climbing. That was before I knew the rules. If the silent man returns before I get the last cat, that’s the end of everything. The third cat has to be black, because I can see the tabby and the siamese. I need to find the room before I’m found. Moving quickly, I circle past the center of the story.
Text by rohan mills
dream knowledge, no, ledge, noh, no knowledge @ mcg21xoxo
NORTH HEAD v2
A collection of words and images on nice dreams infected by intractable disease-ridden-dream-dreams aka forgotten spirits of a lost memory.
Text by rohan mills
Illustrations by Minsu Kim
Photos, direction, and production by Taka Kono
14.8 x 21.0 cm, 200 pages, hardcover, handbound
“i wonder if the first time i told my story to somebody, they were listening. this is the primordial loneliness. my first experience of it was on a bus, from port authority to south station. the rabbit couldn’t read one last story to the bird in Winnie the Pooh because the truth of that stage was love. to love the bird, which the rabbit really did, meant he had to admit that he was not a bird. he was a rabbit, and there was nothing more to say.”