Last Updated:Jun 16, 2007

Collection of the Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain

The highlight of the Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemprain exhibition is undoubtedly Ron Mueck’s “In Bed” (2005), also shown in the poster.

The sculpture of the giant woman in bed is confronting because, although big, she is not humongous – at least not enough for it to be dismissed as an inanimate ‘thing’. As you stand next to her disproportionately blown-up head, the details – veins in her hands, the creases of skin in her bent arms, her melancholy downcast eyes – are shockingly, almost disturbingly realistic. You could almost imagine her rolling over, or sighing heavily as her eyes momentarily look up and meet your own, making you feel as if you’ve just intruded in her private bedroom. But of course, she never moves. This sculpture is featured early on in the exhibition. It forces you to confront the ambiguous realms of fantasy/reality/hyper-reality, effectively setting the tone for the amazing collection of contemporary photographs, installations and paintings featured here at the Museum of Contemporary Art (in one my favorite museums in Tokyo, I might add). A must see.

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Lena Oishi

Lena Oishi

Born in Japan in 1982, grew up in England and Australia. With a BA in Media and Communications and MA in Cinema Studies, she now lives in Tokyo as a freelance translator and occasional editor. Works include VICE Magazine, Japanese editorial supervision of "Metronome No. 11 - <i>What Is To Be Done? Tokyo</i> " (Seikosha, 2007), and translation for film and art festival catalogs. She can also interpret simultaneously if you give her enough candy. Lena likes making her eyeballs bleed after watching way too many films while eating ice cream in the dark.

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