Now that the Pretty Baby exhibition is over, we have put up some great new pieces from the museum's permanent collection. One piece, a film by Japanese artist Hiraki Sawa entitled Dwelling, 2003, is very interesting and, from what I hear, has also become a crowd favorite at the Modern.
When I went to view the film there were many people already sitting on benches and standing in front of it. In grainy black and white, the film depicts Sawa's own efficiency apartment--where everything seems calm, orderly, and normal. However, on all surfaces there are small toy planes which soon begin to take flight around the apartment. The combination of the everyday urban apartment life and the surreal element of the planes made me see Sawa's apartment as an equivalent to a landscape. I began to see the space not just as an apartment but as a whole microcosm of life. All of a sudden, ordinary appliances and objects such as the washer/dryer, bathroom sink, and dining table become runways--making them foreign and grand in my eyes.
In our ever increasingly technological and modern lives, the strangeness of the apartment's atmosphere as well as the planes' constant and independent flights reminded me of the traffic of fast-paced city life and the feeling of detachment that can come with it.