A mid-career retrospective of Makoto Aida's work covering the past twenty years, this publication takes on the difficult task of reconciling an oeuvre that is defined by seemingly contradictory impulses. Where some of his work displays a profound cynicism, evidenced by scenes of brutal violence and sexual sadism, others are rife with comedic irony and sarcastic wit that make fun of even the most serious topics. This jarring combination of the erotic and grotesque, of a practice marked by light and dark impulses finds outlet through endless approaches - from painting, to sculpture, video and performance art so that it is the examination of Aida's contradictory nature that is key to understanding his work. For Aida, art itself is the only authority, and it is the artist's mission to challenge conventional morality in depicting history and culture and its attendant violence and complexity. A chronology of Aida's life and work is provided in the present catalogue.
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