Kohei Kobayashi “Z-O-M-B-I-E-T-O-W-N”

Anomaly

poster for Kohei Kobayashi “Z-O-M-B-I-E-T-O-W-N”
[Image: Kohei Kobayashi Z-O-M-B-I-E-T-O-W-N Regeneratioin ©︎ Kohei Kobayashi, Filmed by Yasutaka Watanabe]

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“Z-O-M-B-I-E-T-O-W-N” is a video installation by Kohei Kobayashi that was shown at the group exhibition “Humor and Leap of Thought – Far beyond our recognizable world” (Okazaki Mindscape Museum, Aichi Prefecture) in 2013, and the exhibition “1974 Part 1 – Born in 1974” (at the Museum of Modern Art, Gunma, Gunma Prefecture) in the following year. It was redone for this exhibition, which represents the first time it will be shown in Tokyo.

Working from texts written by Asa Ito that are full of strange trains of thought and convoluted logic as well as from his own interpretations of the same, Kobayashi created complicated installations composed of weird objects that are assemblages of everyday items, plus video footage in which he explains them. At first glance, the objects themselves, or those composing them, appear to have lost their original functions as viewed from our normal perception of them (for example, one of the objects is a wire spiral with a tennis ball skewered on each tip). In the video, however, Kobayashi comments on a new mode of usage with a demonstration, thereby handily dismissing the original role of the article (or composite articles) and then attaching a different possibility and worth to it instead. The object is therefore presented as a new type of equipment or tool with an odd function that resulted from “reproduction.”

The basic pattern may be exemplified by the video introducing an object consisting of empty Yakult bottles attached to a towel appearing in this “Z-O-M-B-I-E-T-O-W-N” exhibition. Kobayashi devised it based on the text Ito wrote for “turning a community into a zombie town.” Because people drink the Yakult beverage to replenish their supply of body water, the body is likened to a “reproducer” (“player”) object. In the installation video, Kobayashi suggests that the way in which the liquid travels through the body creates a history and record of that movement, and proceeds to demonstrate this peculiar “body as player” idea, but cracks always open up in his interpretations. In this manner, he explains ways of using various objects while engaging in dialogue with Yamagata. Their conversation gets increasingly outlandish as it goes on, and they come up with a stream of interpretations that lead the viewer to undreamt-of lines of thought on a higher order. “Inconsistencies indicate space that is not here,” according to Kobayashi. They may even induce wondrous changes in how we see our world.

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Schedule

from October 19, 2019 to November 09, 2019

Opening Reception on 2019-10-19 from 18:30 to 20:00

Artist(s)

Kohei Kobayashi

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