Second Nature is Takeshi Murata’s first individual exhibition in Poland. Showcasing a selection of works from the years 2011-2015, it sheds light on his adventurous artistic practice, exploring the intersections of the mainstream and the underground, the abstract and the hyperrealist, the familiar and the psychedelic, inviting the viewers into dreamlike cyberworlds.
Opening the exhibition is the artist’s most recent video, OM Rider (2013-14). The nightmarish 3-D animation features a scooter-riding werewolf and an excentric, gray-haired man, and resembles, at first sight, a video game cutscene. Its mysterious cinematic suspense is enhanced by Devin Flynn’s music, Robert Beatty’s sound, and C. Spencer Yeh’s voice. Murata, known for his mastery in handling new digital tools, leaves the audio side of his videos to the hands and ears of befriended artists.
The aura of absurd is evoked in a selection of sleek, digital still lifes — Condos, 2012, and Cyborg, Expanded Cinema, and Gumbone and Coke, 2011. The improbable juxtapositions of objects, such as a katana and an electric piano keyboard leaning on a cat’s ‘condo’, or a pinkish silhouette of a trombone melting away in an undefined, dark space, refer to the artist’s immediate surroundings in his home studio. This theme is sublimated in a series of abstract, hieroglyphic drawings, rendered in Photoshop and silk-screened in black and white.
The main highlight of the exhibition, however, is the illusionistic kinetic sculpture, Melter 3-D (2014). A shiny, metallic sphere, showcased in specially constructed cube and lit by stroboscopic lights, seems to be liquidifying in front of our very eyes.
The tension between the palpable and the illusionary, perceived throughout the exhibition, raises the question of our relationship between the virtual and the real. Has the former become our Second Nature?