柳井 信乃

This is the Regent’s Canal
This is not the Regent’s Canal

This is a musical score
This is not a musical score

This is the noise of a run
This is not the noise of a run

This is your dream
This is not your dream

2021, binaural sound, 1h41m35s

©︎ Shino Yanai

*Headphones listening recommended.

CURATOR’S NOTE

The duration of the work is the time it took Yanai herself to run about 15 kilometers along Regent's Canal in London, from Little Venice in the west to Limehouse in the east. The title of the work is a reference to J.G. Ballard's novel, The Day of Creation. Just as in Ballard’s novel the protagonist searches for the source of a river that suddenly appears in the Sahara Desert, here Yanai runs along an Industrial Revolution-era canal to the confluence with the River Thames.

The 4/4 appended to the title is the time signature of the metronome heard at the work’s beginning and end. The keynote of this work is the repetition of breathing, which is matched to this time signature as much as possible and is reminiscent of minimalist music. Fragments of conversations in English and other languages, animal cries, and lo-fi industrial sounds such as railroads or locks, are superimposed on the keynote as sounds implying the characteristics of specific places along the canal. Noise that is fragmented and lacking in cohesion should normally be eliminated from music and cities. We wouldn’t normally pay them attention in our daily lives. Such noises are here brought forward against the backdrop of Yanai's breathing, but they do not create a pleasant harmony. They remain noise, abruptly cutting in and fading out. This sound piece is a kind of accumulation of discord, providing us with a sense of the reality that flows through London, which itself has historically been filled with contradictions and conflicts. (M.T.)

CREDITS

Acknowledgement

Running Instructor

SHIDAMI Yasunobu

PROFILE

柳井 信乃(やない・しの)

Born in Nara in 1979. Lives and works in London. Yanai has produced performances and installations mostly in video and sound that explore through fieldwork the brutality inherent in beauty and socially or historically disguised violence. Recently, she has been interested in pathways and relics. In her work, Blue Passages(2016), she conducted a performance in which she followed an alley in the Pyrenees said to have been used by Walter Benjamin as he escaped the Nazis, and she also made a video work that documents the performance.
Major recent solo exhibitions include “The Deep End” (Sagacho Archive, Tokyo, 2019) and “Blue Passages” (White Conduit Projects, London, 2016). Group exhibitions include “de-sport: The Deconstruction and Reconstruction of Sports through Art” (21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, 2020), “Arts in COVID-19” (Goethe-Institut Tokyo, Tokyo, 2020) and “What We See” (The National Museum of Art, Osaka, 2013).