In his fourth exhibition in Japan, artist
James Kudo captures two years of memories in his paintings and photographs.
In life we recount the past and observe what happens before us; here,
Kudo somaticizes all of the sensory, visual, and olfactory experiences
that permeate the physical and ludic space surrounding him. The result
is an intimate manifestation of his imagination, transposed through
the creative process.
It is as if his stray markings and scratches are the materialization
of these ideas, resulting from a brisk visit to these archives of the
past. They seem to recount and reaffirm the words of the Colombian author
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who writes in his autobiography, ﾒLife is not
what we live but what we remember, and how we remember it to tell it."
Kudo often appropriates images and borrows stories from friends, recreating
in his own way the time and physical space of these past occurrences.
Based in Abstractionism, his completed works possess hints and shadows
that suggest that their execution had been interrupted.
In contemporary terms, the gaze is still primary and remains controlled
by the observer, who should complete or delimit the marks through an
act of invasive construction, based on his or her aesthetic and personal
perceptions; the works, then, are ﾒactions provoking reactions.ﾓ For
the visitor, it is also inevitable that he or she will recall personal
events and think of moments that have passed by quickly, leaving (or
perhaps failing to leave) memories.
The artist seems to play freely with elements of diverse origins, such
as rocks that he collected in Germany, which are the focus of the black
and white photographs presented here for the first time in Japan. His
natural lines resemble unfinished drawings and seem to demand realignment.
Thus Kudo, by arranging them as if they were figurative drawings and
then recording them through the process of photography, confounds the
spectator with the mediums he uses.
In this experiment, there is no other sequence in which facts of the
past, present, or future can be arranged. Kudo appropriates collected
objects from distant places, produces them in his atelier, and presents
them in another site, adding an atemporal element to his artistic production.
The search for an artistic meditation without territorial restrictions
is nothing new to Kudo. In the past, he has worked with images sent
to him by German artist Stefani Peter, who in turn did the same in a
series of five photographs of predetermined sizes. What resulted was
presented in Canada this year and in Germany in 2002 in an exhibition
called ﾒBetween Hemispheres.
With simple, suggestive markings, the artist prompts the gaze with a
visual narrative, leading the spectator to his own recent and distant
memories, whether reluctantly or in a spirit of aesthetic cooperation.