Untitled #1 a/v , 2016
Chinese porcelain vase, iron snake, framed found book page, metal structure, black and white lacquered wooden pedestal
March 24 - April 23, 2016
Opening: Thursday, March 24, 6-8pm
Mr. Morimoto wears two watches, one on each hand. Neither offers the correct time. He left Japan when he retired, about 16 years ago, to move to Paris and become a painter. One of his works depicts a cat flying in midair above a river, holding a guitar. He points to it and says ‘moi, chat’. Maelle told me how she met him on the street en route to a gallery opening. He didn’t speak French or English and wore a black suit and hat with a white plastic rose in the jacket’s upper pocket. Unable to exchange a word with him, she gave him her card. She said “demain, à 4 heures ici?” After weeks of negotiations, he accepted the invitation. And so, for 2 months and over the course of my exhibition at Le Plateau in Paris (2015), three times a week for three hours, he would show up based on a timetable according to a graph depicting a fictional mountain.
Mr. Morimoto would rest the majority of the time. He would drink his tea, read his book, and occasionally gather the granules of sand left scattered around from the time before. Then, he would sit on a low stool and begin his usual task – that of polishing a large dark grey rock. Its surface has changed over time, adapting a patina of white chalk-like appearance on the surface that exposes traces of a circling pressure and the dripping of water down its spine.
You can find Mr. Morimoto still wandering the streets of Paris in his black suit and hat. He holds tied to his belt a diary, a book that he made out of scattered papers he gathered here and there compiling the names of all the people he encounters on his daily route, each written in Japanese. With it, a folded, used map of the world. Mr. Morimoto is not a fictional character. His story continues in the margins, watching the world pass by as we return his gaze. With this, he allows himself to drift above the river and up into the sky, holding his guitar and playing songs that have yet to be written…