tokyo

Akira Yamaguchi, Unforgettable Electric Poles, 2012,
mixed media. Installation view.

Akira Yamaguchi

Maison Hermès 8th Floor Le Forum

Akira Yamaguchi, Unforgettable Electric Poles, 2012,
mixed media. Installation view.

Visitors to Akira Yamaguchi’s recent show might not have noticed at first that five columns inside the gallery had been turned into a row of towering electric poles; the mock fixtures—transformer box, power lines, conductors, and so on—camouflage the upper half of each column so convincingly that the objects making up Unforgettable Electric Poles (all works 2012) seem quite real. Yet there was an estranging effect, as in a daydream: The tall glass wall surrounding the gallery emphasized that this was an interior space, underlining the displaced status of the poles. Abundant details—carefully designed fictive accoutrements, sleek in their form and with surfaces impeccably finished to fetishistic standards, as well as the calculated tension in the aligned connecting cables—contribute to the fictitiousness of the mise-en-scène.

Electric poles have long been among

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