Takahiro Kudo’s series[1]

Such as Mirage and Blinkers (2015)


Since the end of the 20th century, the work of art has become shrouded with investment speech. The storytelling seems to justify its own presence and to articulate it with the emergence of the act of thinking. In other words, the work of art shows how the object takes a place in the artist’s thought, at least as its cause. From a Lacanian standpoint, we can say that the work of art aims at the real. Nevertheless, this stake of the real doesn’t prevent fiction from emerging as words and images. They make present, and show, something like the very thing.[2] The act of creation thus carries the viewer beyond a sense of the conventional, as he falls upon the dimension of the artist’s know-how with jouissance. In this respect, could the viewer’s enjoyment arise without that of the artist?






C ArchiRaar  UNTITLED (« A CUP OF WATER AND A ROSE ») Series « Mirage » 2015



Born in Osaka (Japan) in 1984, Takahiro Kudo graduated from Kanazawa College of Art. He then moved to Belgium and received a second master’s degree from the KASK, School of Arts of Ghent. Today, Takahiro Kudo lives and works in Berlin. His works received prizes in 2013 and were nominated at the Grote Prijs Ernst Albert in 2014.

On the occasion of the third Edition of the fair Galeriste, the series titled Mirage and Blinkers were displayed at The Carreau du Temple, Paris (France), in 2018. These artworks were an invitation to stop and to debate with the artist about his act of creation. But where does the act of creation come from?

Out of the Frame

Inspired by Marcel Duchamp’s work of art, France (1915), Takahiro Kudo points out: “I began the series Mirage in order to create with physical restrictions a metaphorical knowledge.” From Japanese and European points of view, the artist questions the codes that constitute our social fabric.

Further on he adds: “I specialized the form of the object, the saucer, the cup and the sugar. I transposed the classification, i.e. the container and the physical inside. The concept of functionality belongs to a culture.”

From a more psychoanalytic point of view, Jacques-Alain Miller comments on the rise of the object in our modernity.[3] The object a, in place of the agent in the analyst’s discourse, is an object marked by the loss of symbolic value, i.e. the lathouse as object taken from the series.[4] As such the artist questions the symbolic value of the signifying chain, between the word and the signified. If the artist questions the arbitrariness of the linguistic sign, referring to Lacan, the subject is subordinate to language, the object here becomes the very thing.

Lathouse as ready-made exhibits the absence of the object. In fact, the cup is nothing but emptiness with a little material around it. As such the cup contains a void. Is this a way to praise the object itself?

 A Translation

In the series named Blinkers (2017), the artist adds: “I was very much involved in taking off the context with different projection and motivation. We are so much exposed by the others. I had the idea that the passe-partout, which is used in framing, could generate a new context.”

In this series, the artist invites the viewer to look at an image that does not really occur. Here the hollowed-out passe-partout marks the lack. The work of art displays the hole. The viewer is now a mere spectator who is simultaneously capable of looking and being looked at

Referring to Gérard Wacjman,[5] technology linked to the discourse of science enhances a close monitoring of the subject. In other words, in this discourse there is no room for lack. Thus, the artist’s artistry questions the place of what it is hidden and in the shadows, which can project onto the viewer a certain intranquility.

Therefore, the work of art reminds the viewer to blink, as if it was suggesting that he step aside.







C Gallery Viewer Untitled (Anniversary 2018)




Since Marcel Duchamp (1915), contemporary art no longer invites the viewer to comment but to watch. Evoking the real is a power of art. Following Lacan, according to the concept of jouissance, the subject is lead by the passion for ignorance, the jouissance of looking and the passivity of watching. Can we think that Takahiro Kudo’s artistry is to awaken the viewer? If art wants to cause in the viewer a desire to really watch, can we say that Takahiro Kudo’s work of art invites the subject to glimpse and to bear the idea of lack which has been artfully wrapped, folded within the work of art, as an ineluctable modality of the visible?


[1] On the occasion of the 3rd Edition of the fair Galeriste at The Carreau du Temple, Paris, France (2018).

[2] Gérard Wacjman, “La ressemblance moderne”, L’objet du siècle, p. 220, éd. Verdier Poche, Paris, 2012.

[3] Jacques-Alain Miller (2004), Lecture given at the IVth Congress of the World Association of Psychoanalysis in Comandatuba-Bahia, Brazil, in August 2004. Original French text established by Monique Kusnierek and published as “Une fantaisie” in Mental 15, February 2005, available in English in Lacanian Praxis, No. 1, May 2005, pp. 5-16, online.

[4] Jacques Lacan, Seminar XVII, The Other Side of Psychoanalysis (1969-1970), transl. R. Grigg, New York/London, Norton, 2007, from léthe (omission) and aletheia (truth), chapters 11 and 12.

[5] Gérard Wacjman, L’œil absolu, éd. Denoël, Paris, 2010.