John Wood and Paul Harrison’s show “Some Things Are Hard to Explain” is proving to be a big hit at the NTT Intercommunication Center. The artists’ wry, tongue-in-cheek videos, drawings and animations are intentionally gormless and genuinely thought-provoking at the same time.
One of the first videos that confronts visitors when entering the exhibition is of the two Brits tied together, as one would be for a three-legged race, dodging tennis balls that are being pelted at them at close range. Our point of view is that of the tennis ball machine and, as the two artists act out the “Jackass”-like prank in great earnestness, the audience is given a seemingly omniscient view from which to observe their antics. This is, of course, deeply, if somewhat cruelly, satisfying, and reverses the power-relationship between artist and viewer, in that we appear to know what’s going on better than the creators of the work, who are desperately hopping about and occasionally don’t manage to get out of the way in time.