The prayers of well-wishing citizens are sent to Hiroshima in the form of thousands of pounds of colorful origami cranes. In a transmutation from cultural meme to sacred rubbish the totems are classified as “non-burnable” trash. This semantic redefinition of folded paper formalizes a social contract wherein sympathetic gestures eclipse the value of environmental or infrastructure concerns, converting social consideration into a societal burden: an ever-expanding archive of care. Maintained by the state, the trash-chive converts morally beneficent acts into sanctioned eco-terrorism, conflating objecthood with fulfillment of a sympathetic ritual.
Tethered and taught, 21,120 meters of tape stretch into a translucent organ, squeaking and groaning as squirming, curious museum goers crawl through its aortal expanses. Choosing populist excess –cheap tape and labor instead of high-end fabrication— allows patrons near familiarity, prompting magical wonder at the common’s transformative ability. Inside the womb, externalities of sight and sound muted, the individual is left to entertain the alien familiarity of an organic space, or retreat from such existentialism to our digital umbilicus as experiential intermediary. Externally, the blurred shadow’s peristaltic migration is regarded, jealously, as the latest morsel consuming a novelty.
~ Ryder Richards
all images by the author
Constructing a capsule hotel in Ando’s elegant architecture, Nishi’s project transforms the public space into a semi-private space, raising questions about rising costs of real estate and the growing divide between middle and upper classes in Tokyo. His use of rudimentary, inexpensive materials and decision to leave the foam insulation seams visible, further contrasts the sleek, minimal gallery located in one of Tokyo’s poshest neighborhoods. Unlike many container hotel rooms that resemble refrigerated morgue drawers, Nishi’s pods are surrounded by glass and stunning views of the park with rates free of charge, if only for a short nap.
~ Colette Copeland
images courtesy of Ryder Richards and the author