Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

Mariko Mori (Japanese, b. 1967)

Birth of a Star, 1995

3D Duratrans, acrylic, light box, and audio CD

70 3/16 x 45 1/4 x 4 1/4 in. (178.3 x 114.9 x 10.8 cm)

Gift of The Peter Norton Family Foundation

Like the artist Cindy Sherman, Mariko Mori often appears as a character in the images she creates. Her large photographs and video installations present futuristic scenes that focus on the profusion of artifice in contemporary culture and combine elements from Eastern and Western traditions, reflecting the artist’s cross-cultural background. In this multimedia work, Mori used computer-imaging techniques to transform herself into a futuristic pop idol with plastic fashion accessories and a computer-generated makeover. Accompanied by a pop song composed and sung by the artist in Japanese, this dazzling image emphasizes the synthetic shell of a celebrity’s public persona—the “birth of a star” necessitates the development of an elaborate masquerade to protect the vulnerable person within.