Curated by Minoru Hatanaka, Chief Curator of the ICC, the title of the exhibition, “Some Things are Hard to Explain” explores the artist’s interest in how their plans, ideas and works often get lost in translation. The experimental style of their work means that sometimes things don’t happen quite as they expected or the result is completely unpredictable. The exhibition shows works from 1993, when their collaboration began, to 2015 in the categories of ‘Performance’, ‘Animation’, ‘Narrative’ and ‘Film’. The works include photographs showing John Wood and Paul Harrison’s performances from the 90s and also recent films made from 2012 onwards, including DIYVBIED (2012), 100 Falls (2013) and Car/Lake (2014).
The ICC Tokyo exhibition has had a positive critical response and the artists’ humorous work has been embraced by the Japanese audience.
John L. Tran writes in the Japan Times review : “The artists’ wry, tongue-in-cheek videos, drawings and animations are intentionally gormless and genuinely thought-provoking at the same time”. Naoko Aono writes for Terrada, “Their work presents humor and refreshing viewpoint, as well as strange sense of loneliness, as if to present moments of human lives, in short videos. They draw our attention, but it’s hard to explain why they do so”. John Wood and Paul Harrison’s exhibition at von Bartha, Basel titled ‘Some Things are Undesigned’is running concurrently until January 23, which looks at the movement of people through space and architecture.