Kota issue utilized the entire THING. It was our first issue in which the issue itself was the whole. Much of Kota’s work has been about interpretation and modes of translation. And his contribution to THE THING was not an exception to this. His issue consisted of the standard THING box stamped in Cyrillic (Russian), a letter from the editor translated in to Mandarin, and a simple white cotton baseball cap with Arabic Text embroidered onto the front. Subscribers were only given a very small clue as to what the translation might be (a URL in English, buried in the Mandarin text). The result for many became a search for meaning and an interaction with a text that had symbolic feel but little relevance to their daily lives (unless they spoke the languages). Many subscribers took the letter to their local Chinese restaurant and asked for help, or they wore the hat around for days and weeks until someone told them what it meant.
The text and the translations can be found here.
Born in Cologne, Germany, Kota Ezawa is a visual artist whose animations investigate recent history and current events as a means to explore how these two facets can play out in a contemporary art dialogue. His work has been exhibited internationally, most recently at the MIT List Visual Arts Center in Cambridge, MA; the Museum of Modern Art in New York ( where his work is in the permanent collection ), the Whitney Museum of American Art for the 2006 Biennial; and the 14-1 Galerie, in Stuttgart Germany, where he received a fellowship for the 2005 Akadmemie Schloss Solitude residency in Stuttgart. He is a recipient of the 2007 San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s SECA award and the 2005 Artadia Jury Award. He is currently on faculty at the California College of Arts in San Francisco.
Kota’s project will be shipped out at some point between February 4 and April 25, 2008.
For more information on Kota, visit www.hainesgallery.com.