太田麻里の体操 O JUN
Ota Mari’s “Gymnastics” O JUN
Ota Mari’s large and small paintings done on paper were exhibited on the second floor of the gallery. The images in those paintings included a banister on the upper floor of some residence; a single spruce tree; a tent set up on a desolate piece of land; and miscellaneous debris. Ota might have seen those images in places she visited, for she depicted each of them as if she were confirming the details. That is to say, the colors and forms appeared to have stiffened and then stuck onto the paper. This impression might have derived from the brushstrokes rather than the colors. Regardless of the evenly applied acrylic paint, the undulating brushstrokes on the thin layer of paint resulted in the manifesting of an unexpected amount of ripples on the surfaces of the images. All the paintings done on paper were pervaded with a feeling that something was about to happen; thus, within that strange sense of tension, the colors and forms appeared to be pale. Ota’s film was screened on a wall on the first floor. It showed the action she once performed on the streets of Europe. In the film, she was shown going up stairs in an old European city, while also continuously drawing red lines on the stone wall along the stairway with the lipstick in her hand. On the day of her action at this gallery, she appeared in time for the event to begin and made her entrance from the outside into the first floor where the audience was gathered. She gave off a nonchalant attitude, which might have been due to her straight posture. This implied that she had already begun to draw a line between herself and the audience. That is, she separated her position from ours. But then, one may ask, what was she dividing? Ota took out a tube of lipstick from her purse. She then applied it on her lips and overlaid it again and again. The lipstick was then heavily applied to areas beyond her lips. This was performed so as to draw a line within her own self. But again, what was she trying to divide? Leaving this unexplained, her act of drawing lines accelerated. She began to draw red lipstick lines on the wall as she walked, and then repeatedly created many other lines. Her appearance while drawing lines was quite nice, as she looked rather dignified. But the men gazing at her had leaned too far forward and accidentally stepped into her path. Hence, Ota drew lipstick on their shirts and palms. The men grinned with embarrassed looks. Women were also in the room, but it was the men who were like putty in her hands. Ota mocked the space and the men, and then quietly and elegantly left the gallery. It was as if she were saying, “Dream on.” The room without her was whirling with our unsettled feelings from the aftereffects of her action and from how she had seen through our minds. By secluding herself within her own excessive desires and creating a sense of dissonance, Ota tormented herself through her own self-poisoning actions. But in turn, her actions transcended the line she drew between her and us, and began to affect our minds.