Takashi Murakami

54th Venice Biennale 2011: ILLUMInazioni

Officical Website: www.labiennale.org

The title of the 54th Exhibition, ILLUMInations literally draws attention to the importance of such developments in a globalised world. I am particularly interested in the eagerness of many contemporary artists to establish an intense dialogue with the viewer, and to challenge the conventions through which contemporary art is viewed.

The term ‘nations’ in ILLUMInations applies metaphorically to recent developments in the arts all over the world, where overlapping groups form collectives of people representing a wide variety of smaller, more local activities and mentalities.

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Sexuality and transcendence

Sexuality and transcendence
24 April 2010 – 19 September 2010
1/3-2, “А” Block, Chervonoarmyska / Baseyna vul., Kyiv , Ukraine 01004

The issue of sexuality and transcendence touches on a fundamental conflict in art in general because, beyond mere appearance, behind it hides the general question of the relationship between reality (life) and imagination (image). And so the relationship between form and vision becomes a crucial issue for any artist dealing with sexuality and transcendence.

Which direction is a particular work going for? Does it answer the challenge with a praise of distance (form/transcendence) or with a demonstration of intimacy (life/sexuality)? The answers to these questions are so varied because, in addition to the paradigms inherent in the theme, the concept of desire is of central importance here. The general idea is kept open, both in respect of a desire for an ideal mental clarity, intellectual penetration and clarified form, and in respect of a desire for an ideal of realism, emotional directness and dissolution of form. Something Janus-like clinging to desire means that the two poles of sexuality and transcendence can be reflected within each other. The desire for the two things, sexuality and transcendence, dominates our existence; it is the driving force behind our earthly performance and, especially for artists, the search for an appropriate form.

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Disquieted: Portland Art Museum

FEB 20, 2010 – MAY 16, 2010

For many, today’s world is marked by anxiety and doubt precipitated by events beyond our control. This unease is a natural response to a tumultuous and troubling decade filled with natural disasters, war, global terrorism, and worldwide financial collapse.

Artists have always reflected and reacted to the world around them—and contemporary art, through its form or content, often disturbs as much as it provides solace. In DISQUIETED, a roster of renowned contemporary artists explore our social condition and respond to the most compelling issues of the day, challenging our preconceptions and exposing our vulnerability in turbulent times.

The works—including paintings, photography, sculptures, and video installations—evoke an instant reaction. Whether unsettling or benign, all require a second look. The issues presented are both intimate and global, prompting viewers to consider their own humanity and their place in the world.

The artists presented in this exhibition are among today’s foremost figures in contemporary art; most have never been exhibited in Portland. Artists featured in the exhibition include: Gregory Crewdson, Barbara Kruger, Paul McCarthy, Takashi Murakami, and Bill Viola among others.

Sanford Biggers
Biggers’ Cheshire
Wall/floor sculpture with a LED light show