new-york

Aleksandra Mir

Swiss Institute / CONTEMPORARY ART

Naming Tokyo, 2003–, the most recent product of Aleksandra Mir’s ever-growing conceptual cottage industry, demonstrates both the artist’s numerous strengths and her particular limitations. The piece seen here is the second part of a project originally commissioned by the Palais de Tokyo in Paris; like all the prolific New Yorker’s best work, it’s informed by a generative interest in social systems and a fondness for offbeat forms of dissemination. Combining the enduring appeal of maps as sites for theoretical play and a cheerfully wayward brand of activist zeal, the project was inspired, in Mir’s words, by “the fact that westerners often complain that Tokyo has no street names. So I felt it would be interesting to start naming the streets of Tokyo with words from western culture and society, to help us around. Tokyo is large, so I asked my friends for help.”

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