For Yuriko Sasaoka’s wry exhibition on demise and recurrence, the often stark cement interiors of PHD Group have been overlaid with plush pink carpet and purple satin drapes, mimicking the lurid set of the artist’s three-channel-video set up Planaria, 2020–21. Named after an “immortal” flatworm that may regenerate itself endlessly, the video options three fur-clad creatures enacting a deranged ritual during which humanoid dolls with mackerel heads die in varied methods, from poison to electrocution to “excessive orgasm.” Their our bodies are then positioned upon an altar, the place a celebrant gleefully claps and lights candles for the deceased. The ceremony is soundtracked by an eerie waltz, with non sequiturs like “I’m afraid of secrets and techniques” and “The sound of dying is uninteresting” sung alternately in a childlike squeak and an aged warble. Every verse is punctuated by an exasperated chorus: “Regardless of what number of instances I minimize you off, you’re all the time coming again.”
The nightmarish world of Planaria extends all through the gallery within the type of exquisitely embroidered demise scenes and a show of handmade fish collectible figurines. The physique of labor captivates with its ghoulish and kooky particulars—the smile of a locomotive about to hit its sufferer; doll costumes representing the nations with the best printed suicide charges. The allusion to self-harm is curious contemplating the victims are all the time proven to have been maneuvered towards their demise, whether or not by the video’s trio or by the disembodied inexperienced fingers of the embroideries. Planaria envisions demise as a pervasive, quasi-personified pressure, however in its relentless absurdity one registers an odd and endearing resilience.