Taisuke Makihara

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Taisuke Makihara seeks to activate the architectonics of space – his materials are as unconventional as cheddar cheese slices cut to match the floor tiles of St Saviours church (a work in progress), and a forest of drumkit cymbals on elongated stands installed in a gallery in Japan (Flooring, 2008). Makihara’s works often extend out on a horizontal plane and highlight or accentuate pre-existing structures: Brick (2009) was an installation in which the artist laid a layer of bricks over a section of an existing floor, echoing and repeating the extant herringbone pattern. Quietly comic suggestiveness is also a recurring theme. Henry (2008) is an installation of a machine used at bowling alleys to return the ball to the bowler; in the work, however, no ball is ever delivered, but the machine’s whirring motor suggested a cavernous, perhaps even Gothic, underground space. The artist’s ability to upset the viewers’ expectations recurs in offbeat videos such as Blitzen (2010), in which the artist slowly disassembles an animated and illuminated model of a reindeer at night time. The comic element here is undercut by a life and death struggle. The nodding animal is destroyed, so that it ends up as a string of lights on the ground before the electricity is turned off leaving only the distant twinkling Christmas festivities from a neighbour’s house visible.

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