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"APOPHASIS" 

When: First Wednesday-Sunday of every month, 12-5:30 p.m. and First Friday of every month, 6-9 p.m. Continues through Jan. 20 2013
Price: free

Apophasis, the title of Taro Hattori's solo exhibition currently at Swarm Gallery, refers to the linguistic practice of "mentioning by not mentioning," as with the inductive practice of identifying a thing by determining what it is not (twenty questions) or the rhetorical technique of invoking an idea by ostensibly discarding it ("don't think of an elephant"). Well, the elephant in the room here is an enormous, cart-bound warhead of some sort -- or, rather, a skeletal stand-in for one, consisting of thin, corrugated cardboard. The flimsy simulacrum, fallen about the gallery in a state of pathetic disintegration, manages to invoke the grim, threatening power of its referent through its laughable lack of these very qualities. In an accompanying series of photographs entitled "Penetration," Hattori carts the faux-warhead around to disparate real life backdrops: a nuclear power plant, a suburban street, a dock, City Hall. While often comedic in its immediate effect, "Penetration" comments on the invisible reach of a power system rooted in the threat of total destruction. Hattori's warhead may be flimsy, but it is not disarmed. Apophasis runs through January 20 at Swarm Gallery (560 2nd St., Oakland). 510-839-2787 or SwarmGallery.com

— Alex Bigman

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