The crowd is his element, as the air is that of birds and water of fishes. His passion and his profession are to become one flesh with the crowd. For the perfect flâneur, for the passionate spectator, it is an immense joy to set up house in the heart of the multitude, amid the ebb and flow of movement, in the midst of the fugitive and the infinite.—Charles Baudelaire, “The Painter of Modern Life”
Dimitrios Antonitsis presents Street Spins a two man solo exhibition-experiment of the Berlin based artists, the Greek Eva Mitala and the Japanese Yukihiro Taguchi. (Ileana Tounta Contemporary Art Centre, Athens, 05 February until 14 March 2015.)
The notion of flâneur as a researcher of the modern city is being investigated. The viewer is challenged to experience architecture beyond the realm of volume, mass and structure in terms of socio – economics. Baudelaire was the first to praise the change in the artists’ gaze resulting from the industrial revolution aftermath. It is necessary to approach Mitala’s and Taguchi’s artwork as the opposite side of Romanticism; they are heroes of the modern life to quote the poet, who approach the Sublime through the essence of a metropolis.
Both artists have majored in painting: Yukihiro Taguchi at the University of Tokyo (Tokyo, Geidai) and Eva Mitala at the Athens School of Fine Arts. Yukihiro has never completed a single painting; on the contrary, he considers his stop motion videos as series of unique canvases. Furthermore, Eva Mitala builds up on the complexity of the silkscreen process and creates painterly silked screens, whose sculptural manifestation is translated as furniture. Both artists transform their street experience in a projection of emotion on the urban landscape. Taguchi has built his own house on Curvy Street in Kreuzberg out of refuse found in various places of Berlin. He titled it Discurvy and resided in it for eighteen months, mutating it into a social sandbox for at least one hundred spectators/guests. Mitala takes her studio out to the streets choosing the Treptower-bridge as her open air canvas where she silk prints Mega-Cities views on the actual walls of the bridge underpass. Her screens are exhibited as such in the gallery reminiscing the aura of street art.
Both Taguchis video projections (Street, Skip, Spark, Discurvy, Moment) and Mitalas sculptural furniture (Morgenstern, Abendstern, Lonely Star) constitute postmodern trails through the wilderness of the artists’ esoteric landscape. The viewer is trusted with the log of their mental transition and the beauty of their journey.