For Liste 2021, Empty Gallery is pleased to present works by New York-based artist Taro Masushio in his first solo presentation in Europe. Masushio’s conceptual practice positions photography as ontological proposition or speculative machine within a nexus which also includes prose, video, drawing, and sculpture. He investigates the capacity of images, not to document an underlying reality, but to manipulate and endlessly extend our own perception– mobilizing the domains of time, space, and affect as plastic qualities to be sculpted in the pursuit of other possible worlds.
A selection of these works are centered around the historical enigma of Jun’ichi En’ya (1916-1971), known colloquially as “Uncle from Osaka”. Amongst many other things– a father, a husband, a photo-lab technician, and other roles which are doubtless unknown– En’ya was one of the earliest homoerotic photographers in Japan. An itinerant cameraman who was spurred by his compulsions to shoot the naked bodies of some two thousand different men; the author of a personal atlas of desire. Rather than seeking to evoke the inaccessible truth of this historical figure, Masushio instead conjures the specter of one possible En’ya through a ritualistic tracing (or repetition) of his life and work– one which is enacted through the volatile media of his own perceiving body.