Le contour de tes rêves, La Petite Galerie, Cite International des Arts, Paris, FR
6 – 29 FEBRUARY 2020
The Contour Of Your Dreams — Ittah Yoda
Silky and vibrant, such is the world of Ittah Yoda. It oscillates between reality and facticity. The duo has developed an abstract universe which exists thanks to digital codes, and it grows on its own. At first glance, it is possible to appreciate this creation for its plastic qualities only, but metaphysical and philosophical considerations naturally appear very quickly. Their digital program, this primordial nonplace, in the true sense of the word, does not produce life, but a Big Bang of shapes; it resembles Ovid’s chaos: "a rough disordered mass of elements, separate bits of matter jumbled together (…)."1 Brought forth by an algorithm, a virtual reality immerses the viewers in anartificial environment, where they find themselves in the role of spectator and actor simultaneously, able to modify the paths of movable elements that are neither hostile nor friendly. The visitors’ experience proves to be essential, since this world exists only thanks to human interaction. Therefore, the participatory work presupposes a nihilism regarding divinity; without humanity, a superior force which structures the universe has no reason to exist. It [body alights – a fragmented memory] transcends that realisation by placing the spectator in the position of the demiurge. Between attaining a new truth and accommodating an illusory reality, this digital mirage equally echoes Plato’s well-known allegory of the cave. The duo blurs the lines drawn between tangible and virtual, notably by repetition: certain forms, engendered by the mathematic code, are extracted from the machine to assume shape in the real world. They become autonomous sculptures, often fashioned in materials like polyamide or silicone, which recall skin and have a strong organic potential. The multiple dimensions compete and replace each other, they evoke some of the most famou science-fiction stories, from "The Matrix" to "Inception." Ultimately, different realities coexist. Ittah Yoda’s sculptures cannot really be assigned to an epoch, not even to a particular culture. They spring from the initial chaos that is common to all human societies. These objects embrace knowledge in a broad sense, they could have been wrestled from the ground by archaeologists, torn from a millennia-old Asian bestiary, conceived in a random dadaist experiment, or seen in the Rohrschach test of a psychoanalyst. "The Contour of Your Dreams" nestles among these forms that inhabit several worlds; the dream is lucid just as it is abstract. To use the plural of "dream" and the possessive pronoun "your" suggests multiplicity, appropriation, and collaboration. The participation of the audience is vital, and people are invited to adopt virtual reality to constitute their own unique universe, a real, scenographic, and welcoming environment. If the virtual remains essentially participative, the same goes for the real. Often, the duo’s pieces can be manipulated, or they are (dis)functional, like the carpet of the exhibition [Iu], and they are in line with psychoanalysing body sculptures in the vein of the artist Franz West. In the case of West, manipulating the sculptures reveals the neuroses of the viewers, in the case of Ittah Yoda, combining and assembling the forms leads to a global cooperation, from chaos, via the artists, to, of course, the audience.
Loïc Le Gall
(Englsih translation by Philipp Hindahl)
1 Ovid, Metamorphoses, transl. by Michael Simpson, University of Massachusetts Press, Amherst, 2001, p 9.
Special Thanks for VR design to Marta and Tea Strazicic
Sound Design by bod [包家巷]
Photography by Hiroshi Yoda