Ei Arakawa And Carissa Rodriguez
Ei Arakawa and Carissa Rodriguez’s work is on view in the Museum’s third floor galleries.
Born 1977 in Fukushima, Japan
Born 1970 in New York, NY
Lives and Works in New York, NY
As economic power in Asia rises and shifting immigration patterns prompt the United States gradually toward becoming a Pacific-facing nation, Ei Arakawa and Carissa Rodriguez take on the imaginary ideal of the exotic Pacific Rim in a collaborative performative installation. Both artists have roots in the region: Arakawa was born in Japan and has long held a fascination with Hawaii; Rodriguez is of Filipino heritage. Playing with clichéd tropical island fantasies of the good life, alternative “off-the-grid” lifestyles, notions of paradise as a war zone, and the phenomenon of continental drift, their 2014 Biennial installation assembles a loose-knit grouping of objects to create an arena for informal performances. Drawing from his ongoing interest in historical Japanese avant-garde performance movements such as the Gutai group and Jikken Kobo (Experimental Workshop), Arakawa has produced a series of three island sculptures—referencing Kauai, the Big Island of Hawaii, and Manhattan—that double as hats to be worn during his spontaneous live events. Rodriguez has made a pair of monochrome paintings, cast from two types of Hawaiian volcanic salt, in the iconic shapes immortalized by native New York artist Ellsworth Kelly (b. 1923).
Costumes for the performances are provided by Prada from its spring/summer 2014 menswear collection, “Menacing Paradise.”