al-jabr (algebra) is the first solo exhibition in an Italian institution for Japanese artist Ryoichi Kurokawa, curated by NODE (international festival of electronic music and live media) on occasion of festivalfilosofia. The exhibition brings together some of Kurokawa’s most recent and significant works, in a multisensorial journey featuring striking audiovisual works, installations, sculptures and digital prints.
Originally from Osaka but living in Berlin, Kurokawa describes his works as “time-based” sculptures, that is, art based on the passing of time, in which sound and image are inseparably bound together.His audiovisual language alternates complexity and simplicity, combining them in a fascinating sum.Symphonies of sounds combine with computer-generated digital landscapes to change the way the spectator perceives reality. The key theme of the exhibition is the concept of union, as referred to in the title by al-jabr, the Arab term from which the word “algebra” derives, to put the parts of a wholeback The works on display present concepts and methodologies such as the deconstruction and subsequent reconstruction of natural elements (elementum, lttrans, renature), the reunion of split structures (oscillating continuum) and the re-elaboration of scientific laws and data (ad/ab Atom, unfold.alt, unfold.mod).These methodologies bring to mind a modern and technologically advanced version of the technique of kintsugi, devised at the end of the fifteenth century by Japanese potters to repair cups and vases: the cracks in the objects are joined together and highlighted using gold dust, turning their fragility into their strength.Kintsugi is not only an artistic concept but has roots that reach deep into the aesthetic of wabi-sabi, the world vision typical of Japanese culture based on the acceptance of the transitory nature of things also echoed in Kurokawa’s poetics. So the art of Ryoichi Kurokawa aims to give the public access to levels of observation of reality which would otherwise be impossible to decipher, suggesting fascinating parallels with our inner world.