Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Mariko Mori Rebirth

This exhibition by Mariko Mori at the Royal Academy centres on the birth and death of a star. The most interesting piece is Tom Na H-Iu II, a large opaque glass monolithic structure in a darkened room. It is lit by hundreds of LED lights attached to a computer at an observatory in Japan which records the energy emitted from the explosion of a star and causes the lights to glow or darken. The effect of the lights makes the room appear to be bathed in a pink glow or mist which makes the experience seem quite ethereal and meditative. Among other works in the exhibition are a group of smaller monoliths lit by pastel coloured lights, a series of works on paper incorporating similar pastel colours and a large chain mail waterfall. Mori’s inspiration comes from ancient cultures and a universal sense of connectedness; she aims to fuse science and spiritualism. Although the work was visually pleasing I didn’t feel I was experiencing a connection with the universe. The pastel colours seemed too sugary, and part of the effect of ancient monoliths is their rough stone which has been worn by the effects of time; these monoliths seemed far too smooth and bland. So although I enjoyed the exhibition it was not as spiritually stimulating as the publicity suggested.

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