Nicholas Hayes on "Useless Weapons" at the Green Lantern, Chicago

Terrorism has entered into popular culture. The fear that the acts and anticipation of potential violence remains palpable but fades into the background of a media-saturated culture where the Twin Towers' collapsing, the horrifying beauty of shock and awe bombing and the charming Geico gecko, have equal shares of our attention as they are perpetually repeated. These concerns seem to be principle in the "Useless Weapons" group exhibition at the Green Lantern. In "Useless Weapons", Green Lantern Director Caroline Picard and Philadelphia painter Hiro Sakaguchi have assembled paintings and installations from Chicago and Philadelphia to explore this theme.

Sakaguchi's paintings hover between a lyrical reading of reality and an obsession with the fantasy of war play. In his "USS New Jersey", the watery acrylic bleeds through the abrupt sketches of hands. The making of a model is shown juxtaposed to battleships at the docks. The equation contains is efficient and objective, neither condemning nor glorifying the innate violence in war play. This ambiguity, this ambivalence, is even more evident in "Puling Tank." Here the tension between play and reality is taut as a rhinoceros beetle and a tank engage in a tug of war across a minimal canvas damasked with a pale purple and green.


Hiro Sakaguchi, Pulling Tank

University City Review- February 2008|
By R.B. Strauss



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