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Nobuhiro NAKANISHI: Interference
Written by Takeshi HIRATA   
Published: July 15 2010

fig. 1 《Layer Drawing lantern - Interference》
Intallation view at Gallery Nomart, 2010
photo by Haruo Kaneko, courtesy of Gallery Nomart

fig. 2 "Layer Drawing lantern - Interference" detail
photo by Haruo Kaneko, courtesy of Gallery Nomart

fig. 3 "Layer Drawing - Sunrise" (2007-2008)
Installation view at Mori Art Museum,"Roppongi Crossing 2007", photo by Keizo Kioku, courtesy of Gallery Nomart

     This is the solo exhibition of the latest works created by Nobuhiro Nakanishi, whose other solo exhibition is being held in Switzerland. Entering the gallery, I find there are seven installations, in which annular films are moving circularly. These works are displayed by using the entire space of the room. Looking closely at the photographs in each film which is continuously looping at a slightly higher position than our eye level, we notice that they are pictures of hands, toes, both feet, eyes, a mouth and hair. They are said to be those of the artist’s body parts. A lamp is placed in the centre of the circle. The light of the lamp illuminates the images of body parts from their inside. This makes the images projected on the wall surface. Standing in the display space in which the photographs are projected on the wall by using the devices which conjure classical lanterns, viewers come to feel as if they have a primary visual-experience in that they find the images of the pictures starting to move within the space. This then recreates various nostalgic memories amongst the viewers.

     Despite this, the images of the pictures which are looping inside of the circle do not seem to arouse viewers’ interest, since we soon notice there are only scenes of each body part, including hands and a mouth, opening and closing repeatedly. The images do not construct a coherent story. There is no image of any spectacle scene in the film. In addition, the small-sized films allow other exhibits which are displayed around them to come into viewers’ sight. This ‘interferes’ with us concentrating on viewing only one installation.

     However, when we step outside of the looped films and look at the whole space, we notice that the scene of the display space is then reversed as if it had been taken using a negative-positive process. In other words, we recognize that this work reflects the artist’s attempt in trying to express that the looping images of body parts interfere with each other within the space or on the wall. The films of each body part are looping individually in the following order: the images of hands, feet, eyes, a mouth, hair, and then back to those of hands. However, the images of some parts overlap with those of others on the wall and come to be transformed. Thus, we should not categorize this creation into a “film image”. What is important for us in viewing this work is to find the ‘light’ which is projected on the wall and in the display space.

     Then, we, the viewers, come to notice that this creation can be seen as an extension of Nakanishi’s past works, such as his “Layer Drawing” and “Wall Drawing” series. For example, his creation entitled “Layer Drawing – Sunrise” (2007), in which ten or more photos were displayed in the form of layers, gave us a viewing/perceptual experience through images which were newly created by the accumulation of pictures. It can be said that Nakanishi has succeeded in providing us with the realization of this kind of experience here through his latest creation more strongly than with his previous “Layer Drawing – Sunrise” work. In this exhibition, he makes the viewers’ bodies intervene between the different images and involve them in the ‘space’ among the installations.

     Strictly speaking, the exhibits should have been displayed in a different way which allows viewers to notice the key word of the creation – interference – more easily. This is because if it is impossible for us to recognize the theme or the concept of this work, we may be able to do nothing but view the looping photographs/images throughout the exhibition. This is due to the fact that the pictures which are used in this exhibition are different from other pictures taken by photographers wishing to convey the beauty of objects and composition through them. Nakanishi tries to make the photos exist in this space in such a way as to be used for displaying sculptures. Therefore, such large-sized devices were needed to be used in this exhibition.

     Today, there are various kinds of machinery and equipment which can be used effectively for showing pictures and images naturally and realistically. Despite this, here Nakanishi has shown us a primary scene in which images are projected and viewed. Viewers accept the lost parts of body/person/film through the chain of the images of the severed body parts and integrate them. The flood of looping images is still interfering with my memories.
(Translated by Nozomi Nakayama)

Last Updated on July 18 2010

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