Critics’ Picks

View of “Agatha Gothe-Snape,” 2017.

View of “Agatha Gothe-Snape,” 2017.


Agatha Gothe-Snape

Mori Art Museum
6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato-Ku Roppongi Hills Mori Tower 52/53F
February 4–June 11, 2017

On the fifty-third floor of Mori Tower—the tallest building in the Roppongi district—to be unable to look out over Tokyo is agonizing. Agatha Gothe-Snape must have felt similarly when she conceived her exhibition for the almost windowless space of the Mori Art Museum. She explores the notion of the window as a metaphor for that which both joins and separates, an element which contributes to the site-specificity of her installation. The spectrum of works on view, which grew from her research in Tokyo, includes videos, digital prints, and sound recordings, as well as sculptures and other spatial elements, such as a pair of moving curtains that hang side by side slightly offset from one another—SCREENTONE (OBSCURE LANGUAGE) and SKINTONE (CMYK) (all works cited, 2017)—which function as a shifting stage for performances and as part of a unified installation.

An industrially manufactured handrail that can be found in various locations in the Roppongi Hills serves as a model for the three-part work THIS MEANDERING HAND. When uncoupled from its original context and transferred to the exhibition space, it takes on sculptural qualities. In GRADUALLY, THIS.PPTX and OOOOOOOOOO.PPTX, various interviewed subjects, many of them affiliated with the museum (including the show’s curator, Haruko Kumakura), were asked to observe the city landscape from high up in the tower for ten minutes, and then to render it from memory. Their responses are discussed in the texts displayed as projected slides. The results present not only a subjective view from an imagined museum window but also a multitude of views of the museum itself.

Translated from German by Diana Reese.