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Shuji Terayama, The Cage, 1964, 16 mm, black-and-white with color tint, sound, 10 minutes 48 seconds. Installation view. From “La Poussière de Soleils.”

“La Poussière de soleils”

Real Fine Arts

Shuji Terayama, The Cage, 1964, 16 mm, black-and-white with color tint, sound, 10 minutes 48 seconds. Installation view. From “La Poussière de Soleils.”

Borrowing its title, which translates as “the dust of suns,” from a 1926 play by Raymond Roussel, the influential beau ideal of the Surrealists, Olivia Shao’s curatorial venture at Real Fine Arts this past summer was a tone poem on myth: from the myth of time as vast continuity to the myths that often surround obscure artists. The carefully planned installation of tight corridors and intimate galleries in some ways recalled a line from a 1963 study of Roussel by Michel Foucault: “La Poussière de soleils is constructed like steps descending down a well to the treasure.” Yet the dominant feeling may have been less that of “descending” than that of meandering along an imaginary horizon; Shao placed the objects and artworks in a chain, animating their (sometimes discordant) affective and material reverberations. Here, one slowly discovered odd yet compelling visual, textural, and

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