Our studio network lies scattered across the city and across the globe––forced into stillness, isolated, and unable to crystallize in a single space. More than ever, we are thinking of the human and other-than-human webs of interdependence that keep us linked in ways beyond our comprehension.
Before we even leave the womb, our biology is entangled in multispecies social and physical ecologies, institutions, dogmas, and contexts. We shape and are shaped by our environmental care-taking and consumption. What and how do we become when we become with other living beings? Who gets to live and die, and for whom?
Our becoming is a porous and precarious endeavor––a world of flows where nothing is guaranteed, but everything is possible.
Like many of his paintings, the videos and accompanying texts in this series represent various archetypes that Shimizu has observed throughout the arc of his life––from young adulthood into early middle-age. The intimate and confessional tone of these video paintings straddle the line between self-portrait and autobiography.
By suspending video––which functions like a readymade––on the canvas, Shimizu presents two contrasting preconceptions of being an artist. On the canvas, problematic tropes of the confident, bold, and heroic male artist are juxtaposed with an altogether different narrative playing out on video, where the artist is laid bare––sad, mocked, and lonely, or just as a loser.
“It’s not hard to draw parallels between the tech-bro character and the modernist male master in the ‘Lonely Loser’ video paintings, implied by Shimizu’s proud, gigantic signature, which sometimes takes up nearly a quarter of the canvas. Both personas’ grand ambitions are easy to mock.”––Emily Watlington, Art in America
“The paintings can be confusing, while the videos are accurate and deadpan. I like both of these qualities...I liked how I could idealize my image in the paintings, while the videos were unforgiving and caused me too much emotional stress.”––C. Spencer Yeh, BOMB
“Shimizu’s self-presentation as a flexible receiver, couched in irreverent commentary, fits with prevailing tendencies of twenty-first-century art (not to mention personhood). Yet if people today often program alternative identities or wield the Web’s promise of anonymity, Shimizu points to the futility of self-construction.”—Joe Bucciero, ArtForum