Perhaps the most complex of the Embassies, this apparatus represents the state of the arts in the aftermath of Walter Benjamin's Age of mechanical reproduction. As a Parasite, this Embassy makes reference to the notions of originality and authenticity within a work of art in the context of global influences and the media. The Parasite as an insect, animal or plant, has a reserved and special place in the categorization of all knowledge that began with Diderot and the Encyclopedists. Not unlike the snake in western civilization, the parasite bears a moral classification that disqualifies it as a dignified member of any social group. Social groups being the sole invention of the human race, this projection and consequent classification, although not scientific, is nonetheless dominant in our attitudes towards these life forms. In keeping with the Embassies mission of exposing the conscious or the subconscious classification of all things, this Embassy goes beyond Diderot to explore the relationship between the notions of origin and authenticity as they are valued in the world of art. That an animal feeds on another is no more different for an insect or a plant than it is for a lion or the human race for that matter. The distinction exists only in its moral context. Therefore, it is the origin of this moral that we must question. When paralleled, the classification of florae or fauna and with the division of the disciplines, reveal the effects of Diderot and the Encyclopedists' in their categorization of all things. The divisions between Art, Music, Science, Letters, etc. are clear. Yet, not so clear is the moral value that has been applied to the separate disciplines and the functional roles that they have adopted in society. The Parasite as an Embassy makes reference to the functional alienation of the arts within society and consequently question the problematic of origin and its value in the creative process. It is the result of a post Marchal McLuhan perspective whereby the influences on the creative process are global timeless. No longer can an artist in Japan claim to have not been influenced by other cultures or nations, whether in the present or the past. Furthermore, no longer can nations claim proprietorship of the creations of contemporary artists under the guise of national heritage. Here again the question of originality or the origin of national heritage must resurface, as it is doubtful whether or not national heritage equals cultural heritage. Or, for that matter, what is heritage? To explore the question of heritage, this Embassy reexamines the origins of national heritage beginning with the anthropological studies of Claud Levi-Straus. In his research on ancient cultures Levi-Straus made use of art objects to study ancient societies, thereby enabling him to categorize cultural groups. The result of this was a wealth of scientific information. The effect this had was to send nations on a rush to claim proprietorship of all national heritage's, in fact an invention of the same, as nations themselves have only existed for no more than two hundred years. Inevitably these claims are linked to land or property as it exists today, therefore short of political influences, this heritage is in large a constantly growing invention, accrued as new discoveries are made.

The Parasite for An Embassy Without A Country
Brass, Rubber, Wood

The Bourreaucrat for An Embassy Without A Country
June 20 to August 10 1994
Aki-Ex Gallery
5-4-44 Minami Aoyama7
Tokyo Japan
Phone: (03) 3487-5663