It is commonly said that we live in culture dominated by visual images. But could we find a different balance between the senses by reimagining the technologies that we employ? Dimming the lights and reducing the sharpness of vision, in the shadows our imagination opens up, the boundaries between the real and the imaginary become blurred, and at the same time we rediscover the sensitivity of the ear, we tune in to the sounds of the environment, we listen to echoes of our footsteps reflecting off far away surfaces, we appreciate the texture of materials, the warmth of wood, the coldness of metal, we feel the age of the people we love by sensing the roughness of their skin with our fingers.
When modern western technologies invaded Japanese homes in the first half of the 20th century Jun’ichirō Tanizaki published In Praise of Shadows, a peculiar essay in which the novelist describes both his nostalgia for the darkness of traditional Japanese homes and his strenuous efforts to combine new technologies with old materials and habits: so he found ways to harmonize paper lanterns with electric light bulbs, glass and paper in sliding doors, wooden toilet fixtures and modern plumbing.
The works presented in this exhibition follow a similar approach. A careful selection of materials and simple forms, personal combinations of technologies both cutting edge and obsolescent, invite us to open up our senses, to make space with our bodies and to actively explore the details that lie within the lower thresholds of perception.