Undisrememberable Curios

Press Release
April 30, 2018

Exhibition: Undisrememberable Curios
                 a collaboration between QiPO and PØST
                 a group show curated by Ichiro Irie

Dates: May 19 – June 9, 2018
Opening Reception: Saturday, May 19, 7 – 10 pm
Artists’ Reception: Saturday, June 2, 7 – 10 pm
Hours: Saturdays and Sundays, 12 - 5 pm, or by appointment

Undisrememberable Curios

PØST in collaboration with the curatorial collective QiPO is pleased to present the group
exhibition Undisrememberable Curios curated by Ichiro Irie, featuring artists from the USA
and Japan: Masaru Aikawa, Martin Durazo, Karen Lofgren, Okamoto Mitsuhiro, Ryohta Shimamoto and Kim Ye. The show centers around ideas and images related to subcultures and counter-cultures from past generations.

The title Undisrememberable Curios is derived from two words, the first being “curios,” which
in the context of this exhibition signifies a novel item that one might find in a specialty shop
that sells products addressing the needs of someone from a particular subculture.
“Disrememberable” is an obsolete word that literally means “forgettable,” and is considered
uncouth for its obvious redundancy. Where the word “unforgettable” has mostly positive
connotations, the word “undisrememberable” was invented and chosen for this project,
because some of these mementos from the past may be unforgettable in a warm, nostalgic
sense, but may also be unforgettable even when a person would prefer to not remember.

Undisrememberable Curios is an exhibition featuring works in which American and Japanese
artists analyze, deconstruct and interpret the notion of “subculture” and “counter culture” in
the form of contemporary art objects. Because of Japan’s relative proximity to North
America’s west coast, the influence of a city like Los Angeles on Japanese underground
culture is unmistakable, and the influence of Japanese culture in L.A. is quite noticeable as
well. This project examines the notion of “subculture” and “counterculture” as a whole,
whether that be punk, rave and metal, anime and manga, hippie and new age culture,
pornography and the sex industry, or even the subcultures of visual art. Through the
juxtaposition of the diverse works on display, the show attempts to convey how the
preoccupations, sensibilities and influences of each artist overlap and diverge within and
among the two geographic communities.

Masaru Aikawa posts a laundry list of declarations in relation to his CD album cover
artworks. Here are a few of them:

I cannot play any instruments.
I love music more than pictures and sculptures.
I think jackets of Heavy Metal CD’s are cool.
I like "Megadeth" more than "Metallica".
I hate "Greatest Hits".
I sympathize with "D.I.Y." mind of punk / hardcore.
I love the works of Andy Warhol.

Aikawa’s humorous manifesto expose his deep entrenchment in the subculture that is music
with a special emphasis on early punk rock and metal (his all-time favorite band is Black
Sabbath). His “covers” of albums by Bowie, Kate Bush, the Ramones etc. faithfully reproduce all the way to the lyrics and liner notes. He also makes an audio CD of these albums, where he sings acapella the entire album (very badly). He will have a selection of these albums on display for this show.

Martin Durazo’s work engages elements of high-design and the aesthetic of illicit social
subcultures. Durazo invents new ways of juxtaposing color, object and imagery that are
associated with punk, metal, rave, porn and drug cultures. He will present a large glass and
metal shelf installation comprised of smaller objects such as books, ceramic objects and
framed pictures that project disparate subcultural positions.

Karen Lofgren was raised in a utopian “back to the land” community and at a Tibetan
Dharma Center, among many urban and rural locations, by esoteric parentage and within
experimental social structures. Her work has been deeply influenced by the diverse
countercultural environments in which she came of age. She will exhibit work from her series
SYSTEM SYSTEM SYSTEM, which is based on an antiquated psychological theory, Maslow’s
Hierarchy of Needs. The chart text is borrowed from design, religion, and psychology
businesses to create “meta-hierarchies,” which evidently make no sense together. The spider web form using leather from different animals and metal show an element of ritual sacrifice in
relation to everyday life under capitalism and evoke a large luxury object.

Okamoto Mitsuhiro archives Japanese design, Japanese wordplay and images related to
Japan that are spread throughout the world and creates artworks that give new meaning to
these preexisting stereotypes. He accomplishes this by twisting signifiers, subverting
canonical icons, and exploiting contemporary art’s ability to serve as a mirror for societal
phenomena. One piece for the exhibition will be a sculpture appropriated and styled after
one of Yayoi Kusama’s pumpkins transformed into a Halloween Jack-o’-lantern hanging from
a creepy tree hanging painted on the wall.

Ryohta Shimamoto’s work often deals with the body as it relates to immortality and sexuality within the context of traditional and contemporary Japanese culture. Among the pieces he will be exhibiting is a version of the Mini4WD toy race car that became widely popular among children and hobbyists in Japan and Asia since the early 80’s. He replaces the rubber wheels with small, pink, functional vibrators that are commonly found in sex shops. Like most of his works, the car vibrates and moves (albeit slowly) in unpredictable directions, confounding this hobby vehicle with sexual leisure.

Kim Ye’s oeuvre traces the circulation of power by exploring labor, intimacy, taboo, sexuality,
and the exchange between artist and audience. Her work can be seen as reflections and
manifestations of how the mind and, integral to this, the body responds to preordained
constructs such as behavioral norms, human-made environments, and collective rituals.
QiPO is a team of international curators and artists who have joined force to realize
exhibitions, events and various arts related projects around the world with the purpose of
promoting dialogue and social engagement. QiPO is a project of Fulcrum Arts’ Emerge fiscal
sponsorship program.

PØST (1995 to present) is a subversive exhibition space in Los Angeles, a project of HK
Zamani, that has hosted nearly 500 exhibits.

This exhibition is funded in part through the kind support of The Japan Foundation.

For more information about the exhibition, please write to new@postlosangeles.org


Popular Posts