Ikko Narahara, Rrose Sélavy (2018). Published by NARAHARA IKKO ARCHIVES + Tokyo Publishing House, lambda crystal prints. © Ikko Narahara / © Association Marcel Duchamp / ADAGP, Paris & JASPER, Tokyo, 2018 G1308. Courtesy Taka Ishii Gallery Photography / Film, Tokyo.
Taka Ishii Gallery is pleased to announce Rrose Sélavy, an exhibition of works by Ikko Narahara, from Nov 1 to Dec 21, 2019. In the 1970s, Ikko Narahara was commissioned by Shuzo Takiguchi to photograph Marcel Duchamp's The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass) in the Philadelphia Museum of Art's Collection. The resulting series of photographs, which captured the transparent glass work amidst the shifting natural light that fills the exhibition room, was published in 1991 as Duchamp's Large Glass and Shuzo Takiguchi's Cigar Box. This exhibition features the photographic portfolio Rrose Sélavy (1991), which was constituted by seven of the most representative images from Duchamp's Large Glass and Shuzo Takiguchi's Cigar Box.
Ikko Narahara was determined to never shoot any photographs in museums or restaurants. Commanded, however, by Shuzo Takiguchi's unrealized dream to write a book with images of Marcel Duchamp's Large Glass, Narahara entered the legendary premises of the Philadelphia Museum of Art one fall day in 1973. Luckily, the fountain, which could be seen through the window that had replaced a wall, but often stopped, begun to spout.
Looking back on what had brought him to this day, the photographer said that he had been a drop of water landed on a mountain top. Having traveled on a dark underground road, it arrived at the root of a tree, which sucked it up and brought it into one of its leaves. He thought of the Large Glass as a leaf and his photographs of it as a drop of water.
That whole day, the drop of water devoted itself to watching the changes in light over time as it passed through the cracked glass. After many years underground, that drop of water has now been revived as crystal prints, waiting to splash in a brilliant, mesmerizing coincidence.
Takashi Hiraide, 'Dispersal of a Drop,' text written for Ikko Narahara's portfolio Rrose Sélavy
The Rrose Sélavy (1991) portfolio features seven photographs from Narahara's 'Large Glass' series, which had not been published as his work at the time. Narahara's close friend Mitsuo Katsui designed the portfolio and the images, which were selected by another close friend the artist Kazuo Okazaki, were printed on crystal photo paper to emphasize transparency and vividness. The Rrose Sélavy portfolio not only provides occasion to reexamine Narahara's photographic work but also evokes the various relations that shaped the work, between the artist, Katsui, and Okazaki, as well as that between Duchamp and Takiguchi.
Press release courtesy Taka Ishii Gallery.