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27 Jan 2010

Argos Centre for Art and Media presents Rinko Kawauchi & Ralo Mayer

Untitled, 2008 © Rinko Kawauchi / Courtesy of the artist and Foil Gallery, Tokyo.
Proposal for a Monument at Lagrange 5, 2008 © Ralo Mayer, photo: Christian Töpfner.

Rinko Kawauchi – Transient Wonders
Everyday Bliss

Ralo Mayer – ...Traveling Through Biosphere 2
Or: Anastylosis Of Follies
Argos Centre for Art and Media


Opening: Saturday January 30, 18.00 - 21.00 February 2 – March 27, 2010 Tuesday – Saturday, 12.00 – 19.00


+32 / 2 / 229 00 03
+32 / 2 / 223 73 31

Argos Centre for Art and Media
Werfstraat 13 rue du Chantier
1000 Brussels

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Rinko Kawauchi – Transient Wonders, Everyday Bliss – Photography, Video & Slides 2001-2009

In her still and subdued works, Rinko Kawauchi (1972), one of the most celebrated Japanese photographers of her generation – tries to capture the brief and transient beauty of the everyday things we often overlook. Playing on such themes as the family and our interaction with the cycle of nature and life, this artist looks for wonder in details. It is astonishing that her sensitive yet forceful way of observing the world around her and of catching fleeting moments in a photo actually results in an exquisite fragility – which is also evident in her meticulously constructed compositions.

Kawauchi uses the micro-momentary as a compass and this, like surfing on a wave, has unpredictable results and as an experience is holistic. In these invariably subjectively-charged images, it is not the explicit that gains in importance, as is usual in photography, but the implicit. Kawauchi's pictures are permeated with the Greek kairos, a unit of psychological time or subjective parenthesis that is independent of linear, chronological time and creates depth in the moment.

The exhibition at Argos overviews ten years of Kawauchi's activity, and presents a selection of the photographic series Utatane (2001), Aila (2004), The Eyes, the Ears (2005), and 3 Years after Cui Cui (2008). The new video work Utatane 2 (2009) and the slideshow Cui Cui (2005) complement the exhibition. On one hand her work is a reflective movement towards the outside world while on the other a look on her private life. This results in groups of images that respectively focus on the smallest and most transitory moments of the ordinary day and give an intimate glimpse into Kawauchi's family life.

Perhaps the best summary of Kawauchi's moving work is to be found in this verse by William Blake:

'To see the world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour'

Ralo Mayer – ...Traveling Through Biosphere 2, Or: Anastylosis Of Follies

Ralo Mayer's cross-media work derives its form from a process-oriented mode of artistic knowledge-generation. This artist's main motifs include the investigation of narrative structures, the study of miniature universes and the interweaving of fiction and reality.

The exhibition entitled ... travelling through Biosphere 2, or: Anastylosis of Follies presents related large-scale installations that emerge from Mayer's research into Biosphere 2. This construction, erected in the desert near the town of Oracle in Arizona and initiated by Space Biosphere Ventures, was the first large-scale closed ecosystem, the idea being to later apply this to closed space colonies.

In the exhibition at Argos, Mayer interprets Biosphere 2 as a link between the utopian ideals of the 1960s and 70s and global transformation – a quest for alternative lifestyles that is still on the rise today. At the same time, the artist sees the failed project as a burlesque allegory of the attempt to get every aspect of life under control. It has resulted in experimental installations, in the literal sense of that term: ... travelling through Biosphere 2, or: Anastylosis of Follies represents an amalgam of graphic material, design, writings and thoughts, video, biological matter – plants, algae, shrimps and micro-organisms are all part of his work – and much more.