荒木 悠

Bivalvia: Act II (R)

2021, video, 17’15”

©︎ Yu Araki

CURATOR’S NOTE

The shellfish is ephemeral. Its shell is an allegory of fated death. And a discarded shell can be compared to a body without a soul.

The shellfish is a sculpture. Its surface is engraved with life that is like none other.

The shellfish is reticence. When nervous, it closes tightly, but when happy, it sings.

It is said that 550 million years have passed since shellfish appeared on earth – meaning they have lived since primeval times, far longer than humans. Regardless of whether they knew the extent of that history, human beings have treated shellfish with a degree of respect, telling legends and myths of them, seeking in them symbolic meanings and allegories, or an ingredient to bring variety to the dining table. The title Bivalvia is the Latin scientific name referring to the classification of shellfish that have two shells, with the two shells divided symmetrically between left and right.
Those bivalves, which have appeared in stories, metaphors, lessons and allegories in cultures all over the world, serve as the starting point for Araki’s lyric dramas of association and fantasy. The present work, which is the second act, stems from a single question. What does the shellfish think of humans and present-day earth? To answer it, Araki attempts an interview with a shellfish. What does the shellfish tell him, and can shellfish-human communication be established? If this work here is the right-side shell, then where is the left shell with which it should be paired? Yes, this lyric drama is developed in parallel, with in Japan and Australia, northern and southern hemispheres, are represented by the right and left shells. (K.E.)

CREDITS

Conceived, Edited & Directed by ARAKI Yu

Introducing

Tacia Hamilton, KOYAMA Yuya, AIHARA Takehiro

With

Crassostrea gigas, Ylistrum japonicum, Ostrea edulis, Mizuhopecten yessoensis, Mytilus galloprovincialis

Oyster puppet by

TAMURA Namichie, MINO Maika

Underwater filming

OKUMURA Yasushi (Japan Underwater Films Co., Ltd.)

Underwater lighting

SATO Sayaka (Japan Underwater Films Co., Ltd.)

Underwater casting

SAKATA Masahiko (Japan Underwater Films Co., Ltd.)

Underwater filming (Australia)

Kai Wasikowski

Additional filming

Bo Wang, ARAKI Yu

Music

TANAKA Fumihisa

Sound Design

ARAKI Masamitsu

Graphic Design

MIYAMURA Yasuwo

English text supervision

Stuart Munro

Opera

“L’Euridice” (1600)

Composer

Jacopo Peri

Librettist

Ottavio Rinuccini

Performed by

Katherine Allen

Guitar:

Dennis van Rooyen

Sound engineer

Ruari Campbell

Plates

Carl Andreas August Goos, “Orpheus and Eurydice” 1826, oil on canvas, Statens Museum for Kunst

“Orpheus and Eurydice”, circa 1900, Colour process print, after stipple engraving by T. Burke, 1782, after A. Kauffman

“Mokuhachifu”, Musashi Sekijyu, Hattori Sessai, National Diet Library

Location support

Hamayuu Marine Service (Oosezaki, Shizuoka), blanClass (Yokohama), Comfort Karaoke UTAZOO (Tokyo), Kushiro Robata (Kushiro), Endeavour Oysters (Sydney, Australia), Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten (Amsterdam, the Netherlands), Oesterij BV (Yerseke, the Netherlands), Koninklijke Prins & Dingemanse (Yerseke, the Netherlands)

Special thanks to Anna Orlikowska, Koen de Rooij, Lotte Nijhof, Omar Imam, José Biscaya, Arend Nijkamp, Marco Witteveen, Erik Sannen, Jean Dhooge, Martin van der Sluijs, Pedro de Almeida, Micheal Do, ODAI Mami, SHIMURA Harumi, TANAKA Marina, SADASUE Akiko, HASEGAWA Arata, TAMURA Yoriko, SATOMI Yusuke, SUZUKI Takumi, KOBAYASHI Haruo, ABE Shoko, MUJIN-TO Production

Commissioned by The Japan Foundation

With support from Arts Commission Yokohama, The Sydney Opera House, and The Japan Foundation, Sydney

Curator: KIMURA Eriko

PROFILE

©︎ Yu Araki

荒木 悠(あらき・ゆう)

Born in Yamagata Prefecture in 1985. Based in Tokyo. Focusing on cultural transmission, cross-cultural encounters and the possibilities that subsequent misunderstandings and mistranslations afford, Araki generates stories in the gaps between historical events and fantasy, creatively situating them in the present day in videos and installations.
Major recent group exhibitions include “Connections: 150 Years of Modern Art in Japan and France” (Pola Museum of Art, Kanagawa, 2020), “The Island of the Colorblind” (Art Sonje Center, Seoul, 2019), “Future Generation Art Prize” (in which he was a finalist– PinchukArtCentre, Kyiv, 2019), “The Way Things Do” (Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona, 2017) and “Okayama Art Summit” (Okayama, 2016). A film he co-directed, Mountain Plain Mountain, was selected for the 2018 International Film Festival Rotterdam, where it won the Ammodo Tiger Short Film Award, and he has since been participating in numerous film festivals.