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The Independent Culture
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It's not everyone who can boast of having had wild deer lick the sweat off their naked bodies. And not all of those lucky few would make a video of it and call it art. But that's exactly what Michael Joo did last year, in an installation called Salt Transfer Cycle that exhibited in San Francisco and New York. Joo, sceptical of the authority claimed by scientific jargon, is interested in creating "real and speculative systems of human energy consumption and transformation", as well as exploring his own Korean-American background and popular notions of race. Accessibility is important, and to that end he uses Sesame Street characters or handy elk antlers to make his points. Joo was also one of the exhibitors in Damien Hirst's Some Went Mad...Some Ran Away at the Serpentine last year, so he's clearly something of a black sheep. His new work, at Anthony d'Offay, is called Crash (A Failed Ascetic). Sculptural images of crashes in science, industry and religion form a triumvirate of failure - a burnt-out computer disc, a Triumph motorcycle engine plugged with monosodium glutamate (there's the salty angle again), and the broken limbs of a Shiva awaiting transformation. All hail a Three Graces for the Nineties.

`Crash (A Failed Ascetic)' opens Thur 22 Feb, Anthony d'Offay Gallery, Dering St, W1 (071-499 4100)

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