Sans titre (la bouche dans la cage), 1975


Mixed media and cage

18 x 11.5 x 9 cm (7 1/16 x 4 1/2 x 3 9/16 in.)

A cigarette butt dangles from artist Tetsumi Kudo’s moulded mouth enclosed in a birdcage. A sprig of lily of the valley coming out of this enclosed space gives the deceptive appearance - the flower is made of plastic - of a natural presence. Kudo's sculpture Untitled (The Mouth in the Cage) is an artificial world that questions the changes in contemporary society.

With humour and cruelty, Kudo cages boxes, aquariums or moulds of his body, which have a mixed texture based on ingredients he keeps secret. His works sarcastically reflect the compartmentalised, controlled lifestyles in contemporary societies. Connecting plants and electronic circuits to the limbs, he shows the body’s changes and the birth of a "new ecology".

Sans Titre (The Mouth in the Cage) was first exhibited by the Pinault Collection at the 2015 "Slip of the Tongue" show at the Punta della Dogana.