Laocoön Group installation is a structure resembling ruins of a house, a Christian hermitage or a Greek distylos (treasury): inside a contour (of a building) a spatial composition of 3 geometrical blocks.
Every spring the nature of Niigata mountains presents an unusual spectacle – a deep layer of snow slowly uncovers the world, as if an ending Ice Age. And for this reason, Laocoön Group is to be placed in such context. The imaginary ruins are to provoke a phenomenon of a kind of archaeological discovery.
Laocoön Group borrows its title from the iconic sculpture now kept at the Vatican Museum. Its background is covered in mystery – it’s been undecided whether it’s an original or a copy, the story it is based on (priest Laocoön pays with his life for an attempt of uncovering the truth) is now lost too. Such references to the unknown set a parallel in which the installation conjoins ambiguous contexts of the archaeology of Niigata’s snow and early Christian hermitages (additionally venturing into the forgotten Christian history of Niigata).
‘What do we know of King Salomon?’ – asks the teacher in Tadeusz Kantor’s Dead Class. ‘We know nothing’ answers student’s phantom. Likewise, what do we know of priest Laocoön? How far our understanding and knowledge of history – both general and local – reaches and where do mythology and imagination begin?
Every spring the world emerges from underneath the snow and together with it a mysterious structure dedicated to what is lost, forgotten and unknown.
3 of its elements become supposed representations of the priest and his young sons – memory of the people and events having supposedly existed kept in this long lost treasury.