Kuroda - Kuroda Mythology by Pascal Quignard

Emblematic theme of the work of Aki Kuroda, the bull or Minotaur.

Kuroda 111615, Minotaure, 2016/2019 - 180 cm
It is through the magazine Minotaure that, in his childhood, Aki Kuroda discovered the surrealist artists. But Aki's Minotaur has escaped from the Labyrinth, like a bull in the arena, he pushes the work into the daily life of the studio.
Kuroda 14574, Minotaure, 2005 - 300 x 200 cm
Aki Kuroda combines mythologies, astrophysics and space-time, mixing past, present and future. Thus, in his work, we come across the Bull who gives birth to the Minotaur who lurks in the labyrinth. To reach him and escape from the labyrinth, Ariadne guides us, her thread running through the studio as well as through Aki's exhibitions and performances. In his own mythology, is Aki trying to find this thread of Ariadne? The one that will free him from his maze. 

The labyrinth is the painting, me, you... There are also several figures with the same shadows always. And many animals, monsters. Of course, there are also bubbles. They are perfect spheres in the chaos, and around the spheres, other bubbles, of soap, this time imperfect, like gelatin. And at the same time, it is the universe, the earth. We can see fish jumping. And still green plants coming out of the city.
Aki Kuroda.
Kuroda 15207, Minocity, 2006 - 270 x 320 cm

Kuroda 14114, Minosidéral, 2005 - 100 cm

In 1990, Aki Kuroda and Pascal Quignard met again on the subject of the Minotaur and the Bull, resulting in a series of large paintings and the text of Pascal Quignard, below.

Aki Kuroda and Pascal Quignard, at Yoyo Maeght, 1990.

Bull by Pascal Quignard

I.            The world was a completely black sponge. It absorbed the moon and the sun. Minos was the son of Europa.
            Minos received the island from the hands of the god of the sea. Then Poseidon granted him the kingship over the whole surface of the sea by sending him a bull, on the condition that Minos would sacrifice it as soon as the animal had set foot on the land of the island. The bull was so beautiful, its thighs so powerful, its hooves so black, its genitals so round that Minos did not resolve to kill it. Minos said:
            "In my island I want to make a smaller island where I will shelter the bull."
            When night fell, suddenly the horns of the moon reappeared. This is how King Minos invented the garden.
II.            Then the king of the sea married the daughter of the sun. She had long black hair. Her name was Pasiphae. Minos went to the sanctuary with Pasiphae. In those days men and women did not get along because they had no ears. So the king of the sea knelt down on the black pavement of the sanctuary at the entrance to the garden. He wrote with a piece of chalk to the daughter of the sun:
            "Is there a deeper shadow than the one on which the legs of the daughter of the sun open and your feet trample on the pavement?"
            Pasiphae took the chalk between her husband's fingers and wrote on the floor:
            "First there is the night. Then the skin of the beets. Then there is my hair. Finally the hooves of the bulls."
            But, while his wife was writing on pavement the word "bull hoof", the king had taken her violently from behind and pierced her.
III.            The king of the sea loved everything he saw that had a human and living appearance. He sodomized Ganymede. Britomartis threw himself into the sea rather than give in to him. Theseus received him in his mouth. Periboea sat on him when he had a hard-on in his sleep. "Thalamos taciturna intrat." (She enters the room in silence.) The wife looks with sorrow at the husband who is making love. Then she leaves.
            One day Pasiphae complained to her husband that he seemed to lack love. She took him to the sanctuary which bordered the garden. Pasiphae crouched down in her dress and wrote on the pavement before the god:
            "Being your wife, I wish to be the only one to close my legs on your back."
            When she had straightened up the king slapped her. She fell. Minos looked at Pasiphae who had fallen to the ground and considered her with sadness. Then he bent his knee and wrote:
            "I vow that I shall long feel things of which I shall be ashamed."
            The cheek of the daughter of the sun was red. She rubbed her cheek while looking at her husband for a long time in turn. Then she put her two knees on the black marble in front of him and noted:
            "I have not yet seen the face of what I love."
IV.            As soon as the sun rose in the sky, the daughter of the sun used to go to the garden. At first she loved the garden. Then she loved the bull. Finally she loved his genitals. Pasiphae's hair was as black as the silks and balls of the divine bull. After her husband slapped her, Pasiphae decided not to go to the king's room anymore. She moved to the garden. Pasiphae was touched by the look of the beast. She caressed its horns. She rubbed the bull's hindquarters. When she felt too lonely, she took in her hand the heavy and pink penis. Then she weighed the soft bursa of the divine beast and pressed them together very gently.
            One night she slipped under the belly of the beast and, clutching the animal's bristles, inserted the rod into her. She conceived a son and King Minos was ashamed when he saw his face: he had the body of a man and the head of a bull. The king said that he felt horror but not astonishment. "I think my mother also loved a bull," he said. As the monstrous child was the grandson of the god who had given him the island for a land and the sea for a kingdom, King Minos did not dare to put him to death. But he wished to hide him. He said:
            "In my garden I want a hidden garden where I will shelter your son."
V.            The king sent for the architect Daedalos from Athens. He asked him to build a garden which could hide a monster without anybody knowing it. Daedalos composed a garden of detours and paths. The network of paths was so tangled that it was impossible for anyone but the one who had designed it to find his way back. "Turbatque notas et lumina flexum ducit in errorem variarum ambage viarum" (And he blurs the landmarks of the different paths; then he misleads the eye by their ambiguous sinuosities.) The king of Crete entrusted the Athenian architect with the son of Pasiphae. The architect entered the garden and left the child in the center of the uncertain place. "Vixque ipse reverti ad limen potuit, tanta est fallacia tecti" (And it was hardly if he could return on the threshold, so much the building was deceitful.) When this was done, the king turned to the architect and said:
            "This is the universe."
            Daedalos did not understand what Minos said because he had ears to hear the sentences that the lips of the king pronounced. On the trunk of a fig tree which was near him, the architect took a yellow slug and looked at the king with concern.
VI.            Minos made Daedalos leave the garden and, holding him by the sleeve of his tunic, brought him in the sanctuary. The king bent over the pavement and wrote:
            "This garden within this garden is a labyrinth.
            You must give me the key."
            The architect's face lit up. He bent down and wrote on the black marble.
            "There is no key because you asked me to do it to get lost.
            - Your paths put end to end could lead the gods astray," retorted the king. And I don't want to get lost in my own garden. Either you give me the key to my garden or I'll have you thrown off the rock into the sea.
            The architect answered, noting the Greek characters with chalk on the ground: "The paths that will seem to you the most beautiful and the longest are those that do not end. This is the key to my labyrinth.
VII.            The king of the sea pretended to be satisfied with the answer of the architect. He made a feast in the sanctuary to thank Daedalos. Minos presented the architect with a basket of shells filled with the purple to paint. He also gave him a sponge that the fisherman had caught at the same time. Daedalos seized the sponge alive and passed it on the pavement over the shadow of the king of the sea but the shadow of the king persisted on the ground. The king looked at his shadow at his feet. He spoke to his shadow. He said to him:
            "Women and men contribute to each other's suffering. I have never seen any die who were reconciled. And the sponges of the eyes, if they were called handkerchiefs?"
            Unable to hear what Minos was saying, the architect placed the yellow slug on the black pavement. He placed it at the edge of the king's shadow. The slug turned away from the shadow and slowly moved forward, leaving a shiny film behind. The Greek architect wrote under the slug's trace:
            "I would like to draw as the slugs cast their shining trail behind them."
            The king grabbed the slug, looked at it and ate it.
            Daedalos suddenly bent down and wiped away with the sponge the shiny trace that the animal's body had left.
            Daedalos thought about it. Then he put his two knees on the icy pavement and noted:
            "I would like to draw as sponges erase drawings."
            The head of the architect was bent forward on the pavement. Seeing this, the king took the architect by the neck and struck his head against the pavement, shouting:
            "Will you tell me the secret of your garden or not?"
            But Daedalos did not understand what the king's mouth was saying. The architect's forehead was open, his eyes empty. A trickle of blood ran down his nose and into his mouth.

VIII.            As the architect could not hear what the king asked him, Minos took the bleeding head of Daedalos and he dug on each side of the head a small labyrinth.
            Minos said:
            "Men also shall have an island within them where they shall harbor their secret."
            With the flesh that he had taken from the sides of the face he made a meatball. Daedalos screamed while holding his head with both hands. Minos placed the flour on the black marble floor and poured warm water over it. He first mixed the water and the flour and kneaded the whole thing with a steady hand. When the liquid dough had begun to take its consistency, he introduced the meatball and added a pinch of salt. Then he thinned the kneaded dough and expanded it under his palms, giving it a circular shape. Then he cut out garden figures and brought them to the fireplace, covered them with tiles and piled embers on top.
            After an hour he removed the horns from the ears of the fireplace. He placed the two small clay pavilions around the architect's face, at the edge of his jaws, at the height of his cheeks, under his black hair. Having done so, the king of the sea whispered in the hollow of the architect's ear:
            "Can you hear me?"
            The architect nodded.
            King Minos said:
            "I made this ear hole where the old gill of the sons of the sea god was. This is how I did it: behind the pavilion I put your labyrinth. Now tell me, the bottom of your labyrinth, if we called it music?"
            Daedalos looked at Minos with a frightened look. Minos said in a normal tone:
            "First the island is a cache, the garden is a cache, the human soul is a cache. Then the universe is a cache, the sea is a cache, the bull of the moon is a cache. What they hide is the secret."
            The architect looked at Minos in amazement. He opened his mouth. But he remained silent. Then, his cheeks covered with tears, he said to the king:
            "I understand what the king wanted to do with my labyrinth, but what does ear mean? "