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Shuzo Azuchi Gulliver at Nonaka-Hill


In a survey of multimedia works spanning half a century, Synogenesis at Nonaka-Hill marks Shuzo Azuchi Gulliver’s first West Coast solo exhibition. Azuchi has long been taken by the idea of using the physical body as a way to relate to time and space. He approaches reality with a sense of humor and uses the tangible to get a handle on the more intangible elements of nature. The artist’s ongoing BODY (1973-) project entrusts a contract to 80 different individuals to 80 parts of his posthumous body, each of which will be preserved as art objects after Azuchi’s death.

The more performative aspects of Azuchi’s practice were inspired by Marcel Duchamp. After encountering the Dada artist’s work in 1963, Azuchi began staging happenings at his high school. A notable one was Grassfields (1963), which called for nine performers to weed a plot of the schoolyard as viewers watched overhead from the roof. From his earliest works to pieces made as recently as last year, Azuki’s show at Nonaka-Hill presents a retrospective of an enduring catalog of the physical realm, seeking to uncover truths about our bodily connection to the world around us.

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Photo: Shuzo Azuchi Gulliver, Synogenesis, installation view, courtesy of Nonaka-Hill.