“Body Proxy”
+ “Echoplex”
Through March 26th

A motorcycle’s revving engine roars like an animal, louder and louder as visitors approach.

A year’s worth of disposable contact lenses worn by one person suggest an archive of what was seen during the year.

A comfortable sofa, saturated with pheromones. The hair of the artist, in a single, knotted strand over 100 km long, wound around a Teflon spool...

The body, central to the work of Norma Jeane, is represented by proxy: never present but always hinted at. Norma Jeane’s work proposes a reading of the body as an entity becoming abstract.

“Body Proxy” reveals the power, energy and will of the body. As its title indicates, the exhibition presents works that stand in as authorized representatives for the body. However, there are no bodies to be seen in the exhibition except those of the visitors.

Shown above: “Potlach 10.1/I Am That Which Must Ever Surpass Itself” (2003/2005)
Hair, Teflon, 13.5 x 6 cm
Norma Jeane

The visitor is central to the activation of the main work in the show, “RPM,” which consists of a grey Yamaha YZF-R1, 998 cc, linked to high-tech sensors. The powerful engine remains off, but as visitors approach, the motorcycle revs, roaring like an animal, in a deafening noise.

Only when the viewer withdraws does the motorbike return to a lower gear, and off again, while powerful fans try to cool it down. Waste of energy, excess, and the erotic pair of repulsion and attraction form essential elements in this work.

The Swiss Institute will also house “Echoplex,” special project by Mika Tajima: a site-specific installation merging sculpture, sound and architectural space.

The work is composed of reflective plexi, laser-cut with repeating patterns, and installed in modular panels around a rough perimeter of the library so as to create a destabilizing environment; one where sound, sight and architecture interchange.

Tajima invites the viewer to interact with reflections and reverberations comprised of a two-dimensional minimalist pattern and simple serialist sounds.

The mirrored space propagates the pattern, which becomes dense, repetitive and then broken, layered, and degrades like an echo. The reflective surfaces begin to shatter the images and break down perception.

Ultimately, the viewer may see an echo or hear a reflection: the diverse products of sound and vision traded freely.

The title of the work "Echoplex" comes from the name of an analog effect box for music, which delays, echoes and loops sounds.

In order to achieve a similar kind of effect in her installation, combining loops of both sound and space, Tajima researched Robert Smithson’s work focusing on his use of mirrors and Dan Graham’s insights on the integration of sound and architecture.

Tajima is interested in perverting the tropes of pure minimalism to create works that allow her audience to slip between comfort and discomfort, harmony and discord. Tajima works and lives in Brooklyn, New York. She is a central member of the New Humans, who will be playing during the inaugural events at the new Walker Art Center. This is her first solo project in New York.

Shown/header image: "Echoplex" installation
Mika Tajima

Find it: The Swiss Institute
495 Broadway
3rd Floor
New York NY 10012
Get there: N/R to Prince St./6 to Spring St.
Get info: (212) 925-2035

Find out about art events in other cities, in the FEB/MAR 2005 issue of "Arte Six."