The words in the work are by no means a faithful representation of our (the co-curators’) discussions over Zoom or e-mail, but instead the monologue of the exhibition’s postulated “curator.” Most of them are indeed our own remarks and correspondence, and their memory lingers in my lips and ears. But through editing, interpreting, and translation, they have shifted slightly to a different context, a different voice, a different script, as if they belonged to a different person entirely. The real conflict that I personally had inside and outside of the discussions is not here. Through a process of repeated translation, it has overflowed into something external to the work.
The project of an exhibition (and perhaps of a work of art too) may well begin from the sense of despair that people will never fully understand each other, no matter how many words they use. And yet, they do not abandon the activity because they maintain a faint hope for the encounters and discoveries that may arise from it. As is often said, curating is akin to finding constellations among the countless stars in the night sky. So to speak, it is similar to drawing lines between twinkling lights that are many light years away and connecting them with images. Even if the environment changes, this remains the same. Under the auspices of curation, people have narrowed, widened, and twisted the distances that exist between various objects, sometimes with great care and sometimes with brute force. In this work, Okumura uses our (the co-curators’) indecisive discussions to generate an image of “the curator” and thus reposition the distances we keep ourselves. (M.T.)
Organizer's note: "SUKI: The Sense of Multi Vernacular" was held at the Japan Pavilion in the Venice Biennale at 1995. "Trans-Culture" Exhibition was co-organized with the Japan Foundation and the Fukutake Science and Culture Foundation at Palazzo Giustinian Lolin during the Venice Biennale 1995.
Eriko Kimura, Kenichi Kondo, Tomohiro Masuda, Shino Nomura
Eriko Kimura, Kenichi Kondo, Shino Nomura
MISAKO & ROSEN, Tokyo
LA MAISON DE RENDEZ-VOUS, Brussels
The Japan Foundation
Martin Germann, Luciana Janaqui, Jeffrey Ian Rosen, Misako Rosen, Jun Yang
Born in Aomori Prefecture in 1978. Currently based in Brussels and Maastricht. Okumura has worked in a wide range of media including video, installation, performance, curation and translation. For example, he takes up 1960s and 1970s art movements, or artists such as On Kawara, staging interventions in their work through reinterpretation or translation, and sometimes inserting fiction-like episodes and settings. Due to the inevitable shifts that occur to the subject and the object through that process, what had been rigid connections become temporarily fluid.
Major exhibitions in recent years include “29,771 days – 2,094,943 steps” (LA MAISON DE RENDEZ-VOUS, Brussels, 2019), “The Man Who, An Ephemeral Archive” (Keio University Art Center, Tokyo, 2019), “Na(me/am)” (Convent, Ghent, 2018) and “Hisachika Takahashi by Yuki Okumura” (Maison Hermes Le Forum, Tokyo, 2016).