In science, the tapetum lucidum is the layer of reflective tissue located behind the retina that causes the eyes of certain animals to glow at night. Tam Ochiai borrows this term for the title of his exhibition, which brings together humorous and lively works that absorb the things that often escape us, only to reflect them back even more brightly. Drawn from different series created over the past twenty-five years, the paintings, sculptures, photographs and videos gathered together at Le Forum offer a fascinating retrospective look at the work of Ochiai, who was born in Japan in 1967 and has lived in New York since 1990. None of the pieces in the exhibition are stand-alone works; each one functions, instead, as a fragment of a broader, unsettled narrative. Committed to revealing hidden meanings and unexpected relationships through his art, Ochiai tirelessly explores a protean world rich in poetic associations and complex echoes.
Next up, Le Forum hosts a group exhibition conceived by London-based, Franco-British curator Mathieu Copeland. With his project “Exhibition Cuttings”, Copeland offers an extended metaphor of the exhibition as an organic body that grows artificially over time, using a montage technique to integrate aspects of his past exhibitions. For this exhibition, Le Forum is divided into two separate parts to explore the double meaning of the term “cutting”. The first space opens with a sonorous environment, featuring a sound installation by Nao Nishihara with music composed by Phill Niblock and performed by the Ensemble IRE, David Maranha, Stephen O’Malley, Deborah Walker, Elisabeth Smalt and Japanese vocal group Vox Humana. Bathed in the natural light that filters into Le Forum, this sound installation “feeds” a collection of plants, illustrating the principle of taking cuttings and grafting. The second space, which opens with a painting by Philippe Decrauzat, evokes a different kind of cut, namely the “break” imposed upon cultural institutions by the Covid-19 pandemic, through a documentary film by Mathieu Copeland narrated by Henry Rollins and featuring an original soundtrack by FM Einheit. Using the keywords “cut”, “graft”, and “mount”, the curator imagines ecosystems full of hybrid organisms that function as new territories for visitors to explore.