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Thursday, March 1, 2007
THIS and THAT
By C.B. LIDDELL
Kodama Gallery, Tokyo
With two exhibitions at the Mori trying to raise a laugh, the funny side of art is certainly getting a lot of attention. One of the most consistently funny voices in art is Swiss multimedia artist Olaf Breuning, whose solo show "THIS and THAT" at Tokyo's Kodama Gallery centers on his 11-minute film "The Apple and . . . "
Although Breuning has steadily built up his reputation on comical group photos (e.g. Vikings with surfboards) or weird but cute animist photos (e.g. eyes painted on a stand full of blue seats), following his 32-minute absurdist epic "Home" in 2004, his career has increasingly come to hinge on his short films and his infuriating Web site "www.olafbreuning.com/" (which forces you to type instead of click!).
"When I go to the movies, I sometimes think, "A monkey could have made that," Breuning writes on his Web site, before mentioning how difficult it is to make even a really bad film. But the great appeal of Breuning's films is that they are effortless and dottily stupid. In "The Apple and . . . ," he uses the cinematic phraseology of silent movies to explore his whacky "You Tube" style universe.