Greene Naftali will begin their 2004-2005 season with a three-person show of the work of Julie Becker, David Claerbout, and Ei Arakawa, entitled Don’t Think About Me, I’m Alright. In one room of the gallery Julie Becker will present a sculptural installation. With elements such as a SKY Magazine, reading “Where Stars are Born” and the unassembled parts to make a homemade microphone, the terrarium structure reads like a child’s science fair project gone awry. Disjointed parts allude to a biography of depraved stardom and the psychological as well as physical instability aroused by Becker’s hometown, Los Angeles.
Claerbout will present Reflecting Sunset, a rumination in which time seems to flow proportionally to movement; time is ‘slowed down’ since what movement there is within the image takes place almost imperceptibly. The composition represents the sunset reflecting in the windows of a building dating from the 1930's (i.e. Stazione Maritima, Naples, Italy), which also mirrors the horizon and skyline of the urban landscape. The austere frontality of the architecture is in sharp contrast with the illuminated depth of the reflected landscape. The camera observes no other movement than the track of the sun setting. During the 38 minutes of its course across the screen, the sun hits first the marble stones of the facade, only to be violently reflected a moment later as the sun reappears in the next window. The viewer instinctively reacts to the projected sunlight, as to real sunlight, due to the memory of the physical pain of directly looking at the sun.
Arakawa will curate a group of art works made by students, primarily Japanese, all of whom have studied at the National Academy School of Fine Arts and the Art Students League, schools popular with foreigners seeking to afford expensive Student Visa status while learning Academic art. In addition to their own work, students will present renditions of a lithograph of the demonstration of artificial flower making at the Universal Exposition in Paris 1867. In association with that, Arakawa will conduct a nine-hour performance, in which he and these students create On-Kawara-style paintings, each reading “Duty Free” in Esperanto, the universal language On Kawara uses for Date paintings made in Japan. To the tune of Japanese popular music from 1945 to 1971, a period of post-war capitalist reconstruction, about one hundred of these paintings will be produced and subsequently destroyed to be made into a design object, while cotton candy is served. The painting DEUON LIBERA, a failed attempt to translate DUTY FREE into Esperanto on a flight between JFK and Narita, and documentation of its creation is also presented. This often-humorous multiplexed project is a reflection on nomadism and denationalization, as well as Arakawa’s unique interpretation of the biography of the hermitic Conceptual artist. Arakawa is presenting the work of Patricia Cazorla, Kimiko Fukuoka, Michiko Hoshi, Miki Ikeda, Mari Mukai, Etsuko Noda, Hisayasu Takashio, and Maki Waza. Arakawa was also a student at the National Academy School of Fine Arts.