Emi Otaguro sees similarities between the shape of a sleeping cat and the geographical outline of a mesa, a flat-top mountain, which is also the title of her exhibition. In her first solo show in Germany the artist is presenting drawings on paper napkins, relief-like paintings made out of chewing gum, and photographs of momentary encounters between stray cats’ fur and her chewing gum works. She focuses on the essence of the human being and the collective unconscious, especially the archetype as found in the writings of Carl G. Jung. This archetype exists universally in each individual’s psyche, and it works as the basic structural element for patterns of thought, imagination, action, etc. In her search for the core of our being, the artist observes people’s aimless quotidian gestures.
For her series sun bath, the shapes of both human and canine sun bathers are created with chewing gum. Placing these pieces on cats’ backs, Otaguro sees cats’ fur as a channel whereby two environments meet, the inside and the outside. With napkins, she concentrates on another in-between, the short, empty moments in her daily life in Berlin, such as waiting for her tea in cafés. In ephemeral drawings, she celebrates the state of being lost in thought and unconsciously playing with paper napkins. In her video covers, she captures canine sensitivity through dogs’ changing facial expressions. Additionally, wooden sticks that were once owned and cherished by dogs in the park are displayed in the gallery as found-objects.