Empty Gallery is proud to present Takeshi Murata: Infinite Doors, the LA-based artist’s first solo show in Asia. Spanning the decade-plus between 2004 and 2016, Infinite Doors surveys the full range of Murata’s seminal moving image work from early psychedelic animations such as Melter II through to more recent CG animation films like I, Popeye and Om Rider. Taking its name from one of Murata’s found-footage works, Infinite Doors has been designed in close collaboration with the artist as an experiment in using exhibition design to amplify and extend the thematic concerns of his practice beyond the frame and into the spatial realm.
Although in recent years, Murata has become known for his series of surrealism-inflected CG still lifes, Infinite Doors focuses on the spiritual core of his artistic practice: the moving image. Synthesizing diverse influences from the lineage of experimental cinema and video art–the flicker films of Paul Sharits come to mind, as well as the analog video experimentations of Steina Vasulka and the new-age abstractions of Jordan Belson–Murata uses digital technology to create perceptually intense works which explore the mediation of consciousness while engaging the vernacular of pop culture. Technology, process, and the larger social world continuously haunt his practice–not as surface aesthetic or intellectual theme, but as the ground of the work’s very possibility.
Switching fluidly between the stylistic idioms of hand-drawn animation, datamoshing, found footage, and Pixar-style CG, Murata’s practice is nonetheless unified by his consistent experimentation with cinematic form, wry fascination with popular culture, and a certain underlying dark humour. Taken as a whole, this body of work is evidence of a kind of tireless questing, an urgent desire to articulate the contours of subjective experience during a moment in which our internal sovereignty feels more tenuous than ever.
Takeshi Murata (born 1974, lives and works in Los Angeles). Murata graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1997 with a B.F.A. in Film/Video/Animation. His work has been exhibited at The Museum of Modern Art, New Museum, The Kitchen, Eyebeam, New York Underground Film Festival; Smack Mellon, Deitch Projects, Anthology Film Archive, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, California; Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, Ohio; Peres Projects, Los Angeles, United States; Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo, Japan; FACT Centre, Liverpool, United Kingdom, among many others. Early solo exhibitions include Black Box: Takeshi Murata at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. in 2007. Other recent solo exhibitions were held at Kunsthalle Stavanger, Stavanger, Norway; Vox Populi Gallery, Philadelphia; Salon 94, New York; and Ratio 3, San Francisco, United States.