Naotaka Hiro
Unknown: Video Works (2006 - 2011)

Naotaka Hiro
Rotating Skull, 2006
Video still

February 22 - February 26, 2012

Brennan & Griffin is pleased to present Unknown: Video Works (2006 - 2011), a weeklong screening surveying the films by Los Angeles based artist Naotaka Hiro. 

Using the artist's body as a point of departure, Hiro has made a series of films that examine the areas unseen and thus unknown as a means of exploration and interpretation.  In each work, parts of the body that are unable to be viewed without the use of mirrors, cameras, or other devices become the subject of scrutiny.  This lack of direct visual knowledge of areas of his own body leads Hiro to recreate and investigate the unknown.

In Rotating Skull, 2006, Hiro examines a human skull while filmed by a stop motion super 8 camera that shoots his movements every 10 seconds.  Over the duration of the performance, Hiro inspects over 3,000 parts of the skull.  The resulting 5 minute video becomes a relic of the hours long performative action where the skull becomes a rotating grey orb spinning in the artist's hands, a blurred abstraction of his physical experience.  In Night and Fog, Yellow Volcano, 2008, Hiro uses a beeswax mold of his own ass as a set piece.  The molded posterior take the shape of a volcano where the anus becomes its mouth that continuously spews smoke and gas.  For Night and Fog, Tubes on Black Mountain, 2010, Hiro serves as the puppeteer of a stuffed meat tube.   Serving as an extension of the body, such as the intestine, extended genitalia, or unending excrement, Hiro manipulates its movement as it re-forms, re-shapes and is dismantled over a black pyramid-shaped mountain.

Throughout these works Hiro employs sculpture, performance, and various cameras and techniques to film an activity where his interpretations and manipulations of various body parts become abstract, visceral documents of his exploration of the unknown.  


Naotaka Hiro was born in Osaka, Japan.  He has previously had Solo Exhibitions at Misako & Rosen, Tokyo, The Box, Los Angeles, and Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo.  Recent Group Exhibitions and Screenings include Tate Modern, London, High Desert Test Sites, Joshua Tree, David Kordansky, Los Angeles, Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, and the Prague Biennale.