tokyo: off the grid

© rat hole gallery - gallery view

rat hole gallery is one of tokyo's most interesting art venues we know of. although usually hosting contemporary photography exhibitions, it currently features a series of sculptural works and drawings by acclaimed berlin-based artist monica bonvicini. the focal point of the off the grid show is the large-scale and site-specific sculptural installation work straps and mirror, shown in the main gallery space. it's created of mirrored glass panels, affixed to non-functional metal scaffolds with hanging leather straps and harnesses suggestive of s+m subculture. this specific work not only engages in a critique of the male-dominated history of architecture, but also investigates the relationship between physical and social space, and deconstructs the connection between function and aesthetics in modernist architecture. the use of industrial materials and the work’s prominent presence is bonvicini's - dare we say outspokenly feminist? - commentary on minimalist sculpture, as well as a statement that architectural structures and spaces are by no means neutral, but on the contrary ideologically and sexually charged. also featured in the exhibition is a large-scale black + white drawing and smaller works, including leather tools, sculptures of tools tightly wrapped in black leather, presented on pedestals and covered with glass [on through feb 3]. location: 5-5-3-b1 minami aoyama [aoyama].

© rat hole gallery / monica bonvicini - straps and mirror [2010]