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Mariko Mori’s Multi-Universe “Cyclicscape”

“This exhibition is a multi-universe landscape where each work represents the rebirth of our endless universe,” said Mariko Mori, at the opening of her newest solo show at Sean Kelly Gallery in New York last week. In “Cyclicscape,” Mori bends the rules of physics with new theories, represented by 10 infinity-like sculptures, and eight computer-generated photo-paintings based on her time on Okinawa Island.

Mori became fascinated by the idea that the universe is endless, exploring the concept that the Big Bang can happen at any moment in “multi-dimensions of the micro-world” because we are “not the only one but part of a parallel multi-universe, with an eternal renewal of energy.”

When you enter the gallery, her first piece, Renew II, is hung high from the ceiling. A combination of shiny fiberglass, paint, and lacquer, it leads you into the next room, where more of these infinite sculptures hug the wall, seemingly without any support. Butterfly and Ekpyrotic String II hang flat, while Ekpyrotic String V straddles the corner of two opposing walls, stretching its stainless steel structure. The works vary in size, but each is continuous. They are models for our infinite universe.

As you make your way into the next room, even larger works show the infinite loop of the Mobius strip in a new, never-ending light of invisible energy in aluminum, paint, lacquer, and mirror-polished stainless steel. Through a global collaboration—painted in Lake Cuomo, Italy and casted and finished in Spain—Mori conceptualized these strong structures to shine with pearl-like luminescence, while keeping enough toughness in each to withstand any outdoor terrain.

MARIKO MORI
Installation view of Cyclicscape at Sean Kelly, New York
March 21 – May 2, 2015
Photography: Jason Wyche
Courtesy: Sean Kelly, NY

“In Buddhist philosophy, the idea of reincarnation suggests that we are reborn after we die. In prehistoric times, our remote ancestors left behind symbols of rebirth in monuments and archaeological sites. Perhaps, ancient people discovered the cycles of nature from observing the solar rotation and the phase of lunar tides,” said Mori. “Many archaic remains are located precisely to align with the winter solstice, which marks the rebirth of nature commencing with spring bringing new lie.”

As you make your way downstairs, this theory is apparent. Here are membrane-looking circular structures that play with the idea of microscopic cosmos. Swirling particles, rotating atoms, and radiating lights emphasize interconnectedness and symbiosis between art and technology. Said the artist, “I hope to remind people that we are all part of an infinite circulation of energy and our life supports the fluid energy of perpetual motion.”

“Cyclicscape” is on view through May 2.

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Kelly Wearstler

THE WINTER EXPERIENCE ISSUE
2023

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