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Mika Tajima Wants to Hire Contortionists

June 17, 2011

How do you activate a white cube gallery space? In this film, artist Mika Tajima works with two amateur contortionists to create a series of dance-like movements that respond to her sculptural installation of re-purposed vintage office cubicles and ergonomic chairs.

The performance is the culmination of a long and delicate exchange between the artist and her multiple collaborators, with Tajima proposing the idea to her gallery over the phone and months later directing the performers to improvise a series of a poses only hours before the event. Beginning with simple positions, the contortionists’ bodies begin to take on striking shapes as music by Tajima’s music collective New Humans asserts a steady rhythm.

More information and credits

Credits

Art21 New York Close Up Created & Produced by: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Editor: Mary Ann Toman. Cinematography: Jarred Alterman & Andrew David Watson. Key Grip: John Marton. Sound: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Associate Producer: Ian Forster. Production Assistant: Paulina V. Ahlstrom, Don Edler & Maren Miller. Design: Open. Artwork: Mika Tajima. Music: New Humans. Thanks: Christopher Bousquet, Howie Chen & Tony Mitchell. An Art21 Workshop Production. © Art21, Inc. 2011. All rights reserved.

Closed captionsAvailable in English, German, Romanian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian

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Licensing

Interested in showing this film in an exhibition or public screening? To license this video please visit Licensing & Reproduction.

Mika Tajima

Mika Tajima was born in 1975 in Los Angeles, California, and lives and works in New York. Taking international political, social, and economic points of reference as her inspiration, Tajima employs sculpture, painting, installation, and performance in her conceptual practice. She does in-depth research on topics—such as Herman Miller’s Action Office furniture line and the international price of gold—before translating her findings into physical objects that articulate and critique the ways that these things affect human lives.

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