Kagero (Mayfly)

Special Edition

Kagero (Mayfly)

Daido MORIYAMA

Publisher: Smith Andersen NorthLittle Big Man

Special edition

18 hand etched copper plate photogravure prints. Paper size: 35.3 x 44.5 cm each, 5kg including box, each edition signed and numbered by the artist. Original display box: 40 x 49.8 x 4.8 cm; plates and prints: Unai Sant Martin; portfolio design: Christopher Miller; portfolio construction: John de Merritt bookbinding;produced in collaboration with Taka Ishii Gallery.

Kagero, meaning ‘mayfly’ came about as a result of a collaboration with Dan Oniroku, author of numerous works of S/M fiction, and whose books were often adapted into softcore pink films produced by Nikkatsu studios, (Japan’s oldest film studio). Kagerocan be viewed as an extension of Provoke #2: Eros, an early landmark publication in Moriyama’s storied career. Kagero remains Moriyama’s sole commission to produce a series of erotica—work intended for consumption by a discrete and private audience. The images themselves consist of pictures of several nude women in states of bondage, set within natural landscapes. […]

While at a glance the work recalls the bondage photography of Nobuyoshi Araki, here runs perhaps a more sinister vein. This is not without reason, as Moriyama intended his pictures to represent the sadism of masculinity—clearly seen in scenes where male assistants tie their models in traditional Japanese bondage rope—and the inferiority complexes that often accompany such demands of domination. Here, Moriyama draws parallels between madness, libido, and ultimately, death. With these considerations in mind, the images have much in common with Hans Bellmer’s sculpture and drawings, and also sounds a resounding resonance with Marcel Duchamp’s final work, Étant Donnés.

The parallel between nature and death remains constant, and it is without coincidence that the mayfly has often been used historically as a symbol of the ephemeral nature of life due to the insect’s extremely short lifespan. In this connection with both the pastoral and decay, Kagero bears some similarity to Sally Mann’s What Remains, an unsentimental observation of violence, death, and nature’s reclamation of the former. (the publisherLitte Big Man)

Book Size
400 x 498 x 48 mm
Pages
18 hand etched copper plate photogravure prints
Paper size
353 x 445 mm each
Binding
Original display box
Publication Date
2014
Limited Edition
50

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