Annet Gelink Gallery proudly presents its second exhibition of Meiro Koizumi (1976). Under he name of Total Ecstasy, Koizumi is showing new works related to his performance series ‘Melodrama for Men’. Meiro Koizumi’s many-sided works render a portrait of modern Japanese society. In his videos, sculptures, photos and works on paper nationalism, rituals and dealing with a country with its emotionally charged history play a key role. His video works are recordings of performances – carried out by himself or by an actor – which slowly develop into absurd, tragicomical, sometimes even aggressive situations. Meiro Koizumi investigates in his work the true nature of human psychology and its deepest, darkest emotions.
The exhibition Total Ecstasy is all about the performance ‘Melodrama for Men # 4 – Historical Fuck’, the fourth part in the performance series ‘Melodrama for Men’ (as of 2008). In this performance, which will take place during the opening of the exhibition on Saturday 24 pril, Meiro Koizumi draws parallels between moments of ecstasy in sexuality and in nationalistic feelings. Where in the previous performances the artist puts himself in the position of amongst others Japanese Kamikaze General Takijiro Ohnishi, who after his war crimes committed ritual Harakiri suicide, and a Dutch woman who was abused as sex slave during World War II by Japanese soldiers, ‘Historical Fuck’ is in particular about the Japanese sense of inferiority in regard to the West.
Koizumi assumes a double role of on the one hand a Japanese officer, and on the other hand a blonde (Western) woman. The sexually charged ritual acts he carries out during the performance result eventually in a moment of ecstasy, and a birth. Once again, this work affects personal human suffering, but also a striking phenomenon in Japanese society. According to the artist, Japanese men are still speaking of a ‘victory’ when having sex with a blonde woman. The sense of inferiority is still playing an important role, certainly since World War II.
The performance takes place in a set full of attributes and technical equipment, which continues to be visible during the exhibition. In addition, there are drawings, photos and archive materials on display which are related to ‘Historical Fuck’ and to earlier performances from the ‘Melodrama for Men’ series.
Meiro Koizumi studied at the Chelsea College of Art and Design in London and at Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam. After various exhibitions in amongst others Tate Modern in London and Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam he had in 2009 his first solo exhibition in a museum at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo and a retrospective at Hedreen Gallery in Seattle. In addition, he participated in the Nanjing Triennale in 2008. Upcoming shows will be during the Aichi Triennale 2010 and the 6th Seoul International Media Art Biennial ‘Media-City Seoul’.