San Francisco

Ritsuko Taho

Capp St. Project

With a rare combination of humor and grace, Ritsuko Taho’s installation Dawn: Transformation of Zero, 1995, examined our complex relationship with money. For Taho, money represents more than the act of exchange or accumulation: it is also, metaphorically, a measure of time. Evoking a process of gradual refinement or winnowing out, two elegantly tiered platforms descended from two corners of the room toward opposite ends of a high table. The steps of one were covered with mounds of shredded currency; the other, with similar piles of crumbly brown topsoil. On the table, Taho had left instructions for making “money-balls”: fist-sized lumps of dirt were to be mixed with ground-up bills, sprinkled with water and grass seed, and then wrapped in a casing of aluminum foil. The final ingredient of these homely little spheres comprised a wish written on a small slip of paper by each visitor, to be

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