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Mariko Mori: Miko No Inori

October 23, 2015–February 7, 2016
Gallery 186

Mariko Mori creates multimedia work that conceives of art, technology, and Buddhist spirituality as interconnected, unifying forces. In the 1990s she turned to fashion and science fiction as pop-cultural models to produce unsettling, high-gloss dreamscapes.

Staged in Osaka’s Kansai International Airport, the video Miko No Inori (The Shaman-Girl’s Prayer) presents a calming but otherworldly vision. Mori stars as an extraterrestrial character: outfitted in a white, iridescent costume and wearing reflective, icy-blue contact lenses, she turns a crystal ball as if conjuring the future or caressing the object of her affection. A recording of the artist singing a haunting Japanese song (“The word is melting; the word is melting, becoming one”) plays in the background.

In this work, Mori is not only an extraterrestrial, but also a shaman—a person who acts as an intermediary between the earthly and spiritual realms.

Mariko Mori. Still from Miko No Inori, 1996. Gift of Donna and Howard Stone.