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Thoughts on the Next Venice Biennale - An Interview with Shiota Chiharu and Nakano Hitoshi

次回ヴェネチア・ビエンナーレへの想い  ー塩田千春&中野仁詞 インタビュー

Chiharu SHIOTA
Born in Osaka in 1972. Lives in Berlin. Confronting the fundamental human issues of life and death, we explore ``what is life'' and ``what is existence?'' while focusing on large-scale installations, using a variety of techniques such as three-dimensional sculpture, photography, and video. Produce works using. Received the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology's Art Encouragement Award for New Artists for her solo exhibition "From Silence" (2007) at the Kanagawa Kenmin Hall Gallery. Major solo exhibitions include the Kochi Prefectural Museum of Art (2013), Genichiro Inokuma Museum of Contemporary Art, Marugame City (2012), Casa Asia (Spain, 2012), and the National Museum of Art, Osaka (2008). Participated in many international exhibitions including Kiev International Contemporary Art Biennale, Setouchi International Art Festival, Aichi Triennale, Moscow Biennale, Seville Biennale (Spain), Gwangju Biennale (South Korea), and Yokohama Triennale. Appointed as Cultural Envoy (2012) by the Agency for Cultural Affairs and visited Australia.

Hitoshi NAKANO
Born in Kanagawa Prefecture in 1968. Completed master's course at Keio University Graduate School of Aesthetics and Art History.
The main projects include performing arts, music, poetry, and drama.
Ikutagawa Monogatari – Based on the Noh “Guzuka” (Sosaku Gendai Noh, 2004, Kanagawa Prefectural Music Hall), Alma Mahler and the Artists of the End of the Century in Vienna (Music and Art, 2006, same), 100th Anniversary of John’s Birth Cage: Time and Space Conflicting (Music/Dance, 2011, Kanagawa Kenmin Hall Gallery). At the contemporary art exhibition, Chiharu Shiota exhibition ``From Silence''
(2007, Kanagawa Kenmin Hall Gallery), Kento Koganezawa Exhibition "Between This and This" (2008, same), "Everyday/Out of Place" Exhibition (2009, same), "Port of Design" Katsumi Asaba Exhibition (2009, 2010, same), Izumitaro Exhibition "Kneading" (2010, same), "Daily Life / Reasons" Exhibition (2011, same), Hiraki Sawa Exhibition "Whirl" (2012, same), “Daily Life/Off the Record” exhibition (2014, KAAT Kanagawa Arts Theater), etc.

Researcher at the Art Resource Management Institute. Part-time lecturer at Tokai University.

Text: Shinichi Uchida photo: Masamasa Nishino

This year, Kanagawa Prefecture is busy with the Yokohama Triennale, and two artists and curators with strong ties to Kanagawa have been selected as next year's artists and curators at the Japan Pavilion of the Venice Biennale, the world's longest-running international art exhibition. The artist is Chiharu Shiota, who is based in Berlin. The curator is Hitoshi Nakano of the Kanagawa Arts Foundation. The two first collaborated on the ``From Silence: Chiharu Shiota Exhibition & Art Complex 2007'' at the Kanagawa Kenmin Hall Gallery, and the project idea ``Tenohira no Kagi'' was born from that relationship of trust. Participated in the Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition. Therefore, I asked for a Skype conversation between Berlin and Yokohama, where we talked about everything from our encounter 10 years ago to the thoughts we put into this exhibition.

Artist and curator met 10 years ago

--What was it like when Nakano-san and Shioda-san met?

Nakano: After working on exhibitions at a department store museum, I started working at the Kanagawa Arts Foundation in 1999. First I was in charge of the theater department, then the music department at Kanagawa Prefectural Music Hall, and this was how I met Mr. Shioda. The first creative stage production I created at the Ongakudo was a new performance that combined three elements: contemporary music, Noh, Kyogen, and calligraphy. After consulting with composer and pianist Kei Ichiyanagi, who is also the general artistic director of the foundation, it was realized in 2004 as a music-poetry play called ``Ikutagawa Monogatari: Based on the Noh ``Guzuka.''''

<img alt="Musical Poetry Drama Ikutagawa Monogatari Based on Noh "Guzuka" Kanagawa Prefectural Music Hall 2004 ⒸSatoshi Aoyagi

Musical Poetry Drama Ikutagawa Monogatari Based on Noh “Guzuka” Kanagawa Prefectural Music Hall 2004 ⒸSatoshi Aoyagi

--Music by Ichiyanagi, libretto by poet Makoto Ooka, and on stage where Yuichi Inoue's calligraphy appears, Kanze school Noh performer Eio Kanze (also directing), Kyogen performers Mansaku Nomura, and Ippei Shigeyama. It's an ambitious attempt in which they appeared.

Nakano: After that, Mr. Ichiyanagi suggested we do a second collaboration between traditional Japanese art and contemporary music, and we talked about wanting to focus on Bunraku this time. I also thought about commissioning a contemporary artist for the stage design, and the person I decided to ask for was Chiharu. At the first Yokohama Triennale in 2001, I was impressed by the work he presented that had the power to instantly capture people's hearts. I thought her expressions were very good, as they clearly conveyed to us the artist's mental strength to deal with large spaces, as well as the life path derived from the selection of materials, precision of installation, and scale. .

--It's ``Memory from the Skin,'' which is made up of five giant dresses covered in mud.

Nakano: Yes. Immediately after ``Ikutagawa Monogatari'', Chiharu held a solo exhibition ``Falling Sand'' in Tokyo (Kenji Taki Gallery, Tokyo) . It was my first time meeting him as he was returning from his home base in Berlin. I explained the outline of the performance there, and that's when I first met Chiharu.

<img alt="《Memory from the skin》Yokohama Triennale 2001 ⒸTetsuo Ido

《Memory from the skin》Yokohama Triennale 2001 ⒸTetsuo Ido

Shioda: That was in 2004. So now we've been together for 10 years.

――What was your first impression of Mr. Nakano, Mr. Shioda?

Shioda: At that time, I had not yet experienced a major solo exhibition at an art museum, so I remember being very happy when I was approached with an ambitious proposal to fuse performing arts and fine arts. I had the impression that Mr. Nakano was a very enthusiastic person. After that, he often sent related books to me in Berlin. There wasn't a curator who would do something like this, so I thought, ``I have to get serious about this.'' Of course, I have always taken exhibitions seriously, but I felt that Mr. Nakano had a great passion for expression from his standpoint as a curator.

Nakano: At that time, I was thinking about asking the writer Yumie Hiraiwa to write the script, and I was using Takeshi Umehara's book ``Hell's Thoughts: A Genealogy of the Japanese Spirit'' as a reference for a festival to think about Bunraku... Chiharu I think this is the first time that he has worked with another field of expression, so I sent him such materials from Japan (bitter smile) and asked him to read them if he would like. She was a flexible person, and I was able to learn a lot from her, and we continued to exchange information and interact with each other.

Chiharu Shiota, Hitoshi Nakano

The world began to expand “from silence”

Nakano: In the end, this project did not come to fruition.

――However, after that, Mr. Nakano realized Mr. Shioda's large-scale solo exhibition ``From Silence: Chiharu Shiota Exhibition & Art Complex 2007'' at the Kanagawa Kenmin Hall Gallery, which you were newly in charge of. This was a collection of Shioda's previous works, including large-scale installations. In addition, the ``Art Complex,'' where dance and music artists held performances in the exhibition space after the museum closed, and related events such as symposiums and concerts in the museum's small hall, also became a hot topic. .

Nakano: The first project I planned for Kanagawa Kenmin Hall Gallery was ``From Silence.'' This large, unique space with a complex structure spans two levels: the first floor and the first basement floor, and each of the five exhibition rooms has a different floor color and ceiling height, allowing the space to be well captured and transformed through artwork. Young writers are very limited. Additionally, I thought together with General Director Ichiyanagi and members of the Prefectural Hall Project Division that this time we could use art as a base for experimental collaboration with other fields in a gallery setting. In both senses, it was great to be able to work with Chiharu here for the first time.

"From in light" "From Silence" Chiharu Shiota Exhibition Kanagawa Kenmin Hall Gallery 2007 Ⓒ Yasushi Nishimura

"From in light" "From Silence" Chiharu Shiota Exhibition Kanagawa Kenmin Hall Gallery 2007 Ⓒ Yasushi Nishimura

Constanza Macrath & Dorky Park “Silence” Kanagawa Kenmin Hall Gallery

Constanza Macrath & Dorky Park “Silence” Kanagawa Kenmin Hall Gallery

“From Silence” from Chiharu Shiota Exhibition & Art Complex 2007 Ⓒ Matron

Left Valery Afanasyev Piano Recital x Chiharu Shiota (Art) Kanagawa Kenmin Hall Small Hall
Right Leipzig String Quartet x Friends “Between society and art” Kanagawa Kenmin Hall Gallery
All from "From Silence" Chiharu Shiota Exhibition & Art Complex 2007 Ⓒ Matron

--What are the charms and trustworthiness of each of you?

Shioda: Mr. Nakano is very good in the field. A person who understands the writer's feelings very well. For curators, creating an exhibition involves analyzing the artist and their work while focusing on the parts that can be put into words, including articles. Of course, Mr. Nakano does this as well, but I also feel that he has the ability to understand the feelings of the people in the field. Those who don't have it can find it difficult even if they are good at academics. However, Nakano-san is very easy to work with to create something. At ``From Silence,'' more than 160 student volunteers helped set up the site. Mr. Nakano appropriately divided the people who gathered into groups, and utilized the power of the participants in works such as From in light, which used many glass windows.

Chiharu Shiota

Nakano: When I asked Chiharu-san for the first time, ``What do you think about performing arts?'', without hesitation, she said, ``Let's see a lot of things together,'' and the two of us went to Berlin to see plays, concerts, operas, and other performances. I felt that he was a very flexible artist as he rotated around a lot. At that time, the two of us traveled around the cold streets of Berlin to meet and talk with experts from various fields.

--Are you in sales?

Nakano: I searched for artists I wanted to appear at Art Complex and negotiated with them directly, and I went to meet with the people involved to see if the exhibition could be seen in Berlin. There were days when Chiharu would make contacts at various locations while I would bring materials with me. I wish I could just do exhibitions normally (bitter smile), but once I get started, my energy starts to be directed towards various things. But Chiharu-san always kept a positive attitude and thought together with me, ``I think that person might be good.'' I was very grateful for the sense of accepting diversity and flexibility.

Shioda: Before I knew it, I was also looking forward to hearing that Mr. Nakano was coming to Berlin. In the process, things became more and more connected. Speaking of that, Mr. Nakano is also very good at organizing things (lol).

Nakano: The musicians I've worked with in the past called me ``Dandori Fumio'' (bitter smile). In any case, ``From Silence'' was highly praised, and it was a factor in Chiharu's artistic selection (Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology's Newcomer's Award). It had been about four years since we met in 2004, so I was happy. Also, as a result of this, the art complex continued to hold solo exhibitions by Berlin-based filmmaker Kento Koganezawa, and I think it was a good thing that the exchange between art and other fields continued.

Hitoshi Nakano

――Speaking of your involvement with the stage, I also remember that you were responsible for the set design for ``Tattoo'' (New National Theatre, Tokyo), which was later directed by Toshiki Okada of chelfitsch.

Nakano: ``Tattoo'' was a work by German female playwright Der Rohr, directed by Okada-kun. It all started when Okada-kun came to the Kenmin Hall for the Kanagawa Cultural Prize Future Prize award ceremony, and after the ceremony, he came to see the Shioda exhibition in the Kenmin Hall Gallery. From there, we started talking about creating a set with an image similar to that window piece.

Shioda: That's why there are so many things that started from ``From Silence'' and they are so big. I ended up working with Constanza Macrath, who I danced with at the exhibition at that time, again on the play ``Oedipus.'' In 2011, I was approached by the choreographer and director Sascha Waltz, whom I had met during the planning process for the art complex, and I was able to work with him on the opera Matsukaze (written by Toshio Hosokawa). Furthermore, my encounter with Fram Kitagawa, who I talked about at the symposium for that solo exhibition, led to my participation in the Echigo-Tsumari Triennale and the Setouchi Triennale. There is no end to the list, and looking back, I think it was an important opportunity for me to be where I am today.

“From Silence” Chiharu Shiota Exhibition & Art Complex 2007 Symposium “Discovering the Other How Art Can Restore Communication”

“From Silence” Chiharu Shiota Exhibition & Art Complex 2007 Symposium “Discovering the Other How Art Can Recover Communication” Kanagawa Kenmin Hall Small Hall Ⓒ matron

――I get the impression that the two of you get along very well with each other, but was there anything that surprised you?

Nakano: I don't know if that's the answer (bitter smile), but there was something that surprised me when I visited Chiharu's atelier in Berlin. There are a lot of comedy DVDs by The Drifters.

--That's very surprising (lol).

Nakano: Right? However, I've always thought Drifters is amazing, and I think that's due to the compositional ability of the show. It's hard to make people laugh, and I learned a lot from him in the sense that he intuitively orients people toward certain actions. However, in the atelier, the two of us just watched it and laughed out loud (lol).

Shioda: A friend lent me that, and it just happened to be there (teruha).

Chiharu Shiota

Nakano: I never thought I'd be laughing my head off at a drift with an author in Berlin, over 9,000km from Japan. But I feel like we're both good at putting our feelings in and letting them out, as well as the point of laughter.

Shioda: I think that within Mr. Nakano, there is always a sense of ``if this happens, this will be connected to that,'' even in more fundamental aspects that are different from planning. "Kata" is also good. I also learned a lot by getting involved.

What the “key in the palm of your hand” opens

(C)Sunhi Mang

(C)Sunhi Mang

--Now let's talk about Venice. The title of the exhibition is ``The Key in the Palm.'' It will be an installation in which approximately 50,000 keys that were once used by someone will be collected and tied to the end of a red string.

Nakano: At the beginning of the year, we were approached to participate in a planning competition, and we had to submit a plan within a short period of two months. First, the curators are approached, and each person decides on an artist, plans an exhibition, and submits a proposal. As soon as I was approached, I decided that Chiharu was the author I wanted to work with. I thought that I should choose an artist who had the ability to handle the special space of the Japan Pavilion, and since we needed to create a deep exhibition in a short period of time, I thought that she would be the best choice because we knew each other well. .

--I saw the explanation of the exhibition and the image drawings. I had a different image from the keywords such as "absence" and "wall" that have been mentioned in Mr. Shioda's works so far, but on the other hand, I have heard that his starting point was a harsh personal experience.

Shioda: I was really happy to receive the invitation from Mr. Nakano. On the other hand, I had the experience of losing someone important to me last year and the year before. My father passed away, and then I miscarried my second child. It was a time when I realized how painful it is to lose someone important to me. The idea for this exhibition was probably based on this experience, and I wanted to create a work by collecting things that people value, like keys.

--From there, the content evolved into something like that.

Shioda: At the same time, regarding the Venice Biennale, the theme related to this event continued in the Japan Pavilion after the Great East Japan Earthquake. At the last architecture exhibition, Toyo Ito's commission asked the question, ``Is architecture possible here?'' Also, the last art exhibition by Koki Tanaka was titled ``Speaking Abstractly - Sharing Uncertainty and Collective Acts,'' which seemed to explore how one can experience the experiences of others. felt. Understanding this trend, and thinking not only of the past but also of the present, I felt that it was we here who held the key, the opportunity. Of course, we have lost a lot, but I wanted to show that depending on how we use that key, we can move forward in various directions.

Exterior of Japan Pavilion/55th International Art Exhibition Exhibition Scene

Left: Japan Pavilion exterior Right: 55th International Art Exhibition Exhibition Photo provided by: Japan Foundation

Nakano: For example, the window work that I mentioned earlier is a collection by Chiharu of windows that were actually used in the former East Berlin. Windows protect from danger from the outside, but at the same time, when viewed from the inside, they open up to the outside and let in fresh air. In the work, these walls are piled up to form a "wall," but I initially thought that for Chiharu, that wall was her own self, which she had to overcome. As I left Japan and started working in Berlin, I think I also had a feeling of transcending something. If there was a feeling of ``over'' when it came to ``walls'', I think there is a feeling of ``with'' in this ``key''.

--In other words, do you mean to connect them together?

Nakano: Yes. When you open the door and step out of your house, you may see the same sight as usual, but beyond that every day there can be new experiences and sensations. When you get home and lock the door, you have your own world that is somewhat protected and guaranteed. The key is to connect these two worlds. Moreover, keys are so important that they are sometimes entrusted from person to person. It is sometimes passed down from room owner to tenant, or from parent to child. There is also an act of ``connecting'' here. In this context, the key can also be seen as an accumulation of memories and warmth. However, this time, rather than treating it directly as a symbol of something after the earthquake, the two of us talked about how we would like to see it as something important that connects people's memories more universally.

Hitoshi Nakano

--The plan is for the keys to be collected through public recruitment and displayed together with the red thread on the second floor of the Japan Pavilion. At the same time, I hear that video works will be exhibited in the pilotis section on the first floor.

Shioda: Up until now, I have created works with memory as the theme. For this time's keys, we will also collect items that have been used by someone and have memories and memories of them. I am currently collecting old keys in Berlin. On the other hand, the video shown in the piloti below is ``How did you come to this world?'' This is a work called. This is a video of the children being asked the question in the title and getting their answers. In other words, it is your first memory of when you were in your mother's womb or just after you were born. There is a story that people forget this once they can speak the language, so we ask small children as young as 2 or 3 years old. The Japan Pavilion in Venice is a very unusual space, with the exhibition hall supported by four pillars. The reason I wanted to show this video on the pilotis below is because I feel that children are the ones who carry the future on their shoulders.

Nakano: There are tens of thousands of keys in the exhibition room, and memories are intertwined with each other. Underground, children talk about their ``world.'' I would also like to display a photo of a key in the palm of the hand, which symbolizes the title of the exhibition. There is an image of an actual human being, and at the same time, there is a feeling that the children of the future will support the many memories that will be passed on to the next generation. On the second floor, there are also two boats on display beneath numerous keys, which actually resemble the shape of two palms. Accepting the memories and picking them up as we move forward. I believe that ``moving forward'' is extremely important, and ``connecting'' also relates to this.

<img alt="《How did you come to this world?》 2012 Ⓒ Sunhi Mang

``How did you come to this world? 》 2012 Ⓒ Sunhi Mang

Venice Biennale model photo (C) Sunhi Mang

Venice Biennale model photo (C)Sunhi Mang

complement each other, collide with each other, and interact with each other

――You mentioned earlier the exhibition by Koki Tanaka and curator Mika Kuraya at the Japan Pavilion of the last Biennale. I think the content of this time was about thinking about the possibilities and impossibilities of participation and sharing, with a kind of calm detachment. This time, I think it will make me think about participation and sharing in a different way.

Shioda: Does that mean it's about collecting keys from various people and creating an installation?

--Including that. For example, when you express thoughts that involve personal experiences, such as the ones you talked about today, how do you think about it taking shape through the belongings of "others" so to speak?

Shioda: For me, the act of collecting is because there is something missing within me. I feel like I want to fill that gap. However, after that, when I look at the actual exhibition space and proceed with creating my work, I have to let go of my personal feelings and create the flow of the space while thinking of myself as someone else. You could say it makes me look cold, but I hope that when someone other than me sees it, it will create some kind of empathy in their own way. I usually use black thread in my works, but since this time it's a "key," I wanted to connect it with red thread.

<img alt="《Beyond the Continent》National Museum of Art, Osaka, 2008 Ⓒ Sunhi Mang

“Beyond the Continent” National Museum of Art, Osaka (Osaka) 2008 Ⓒ Sunhi Mang

--In the past, you have created an installation called ``Beyond the Continent,'' in which you collected countless shoes that belonged to someone else and tied them together with red wool. Is there a clear difference when using red and black threads?

Shioda: In the case of that work, when you say shoes, you're talking about feet. As the title suggests, I naturally chose red thread instead of black.

Nakano: It's true that if you think about it, it's a little scary to have a key and a black thread.

-- Mr. Shioda's works using black thread have a harshness to them, as if they visualized the subject being tied to something, such as clothing or furniture. However, speaking of fear, I think that if you think about the existence of a lock and the act of ``locking the door'', you can associate it with scary elements.

Nakano: I see. However, the act of "closing doors" also has a positive side in the sense that it protects something important. And the most important thing is how to move forward from there.

"From Silence" Kanagawa Kenmin Hall Gallery 2007 Ⓒ Yasushi Nishimura

"From Silence" Kanagawa Kenmin Hall Gallery 2007 Ⓒ Yasushi Nishimura

--The Venice Biennale can be said to be special in many ways. It is different from a solo exhibition held at an art museum, and it is also different from something that is created while getting to know the local people and thinking about how they will remain there, as Shioda experienced at the Setouchi Triennale. There is a tendency to talk about ``participating on behalf of Japan'', but how do you feel about that?

Shioda: It's a place where dozens of countries exhibit in their own national pavilions, so naturally everyone involved puts effort into it, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't conscious of that. However, if you approach the event because it's the Japanese pavilion or because it's Japanese, you're bound to fail. I feel that the fact that I was selected this time means that my past has been recognized to a certain extent, and I would like to face the competition as my true-life self rather than burdening myself with something. I'm just going to prioritize how much I can use my strengths there.

Nakano: Especially those who create works like Chiharu are required to fully engage with the exhibition space wherever they go. This time as well, there are various meanings attached to the three letters ``Japan Pavilion,'' but at the same time, it is also important to consider how we perceive the Japan Pavilion as a space and place, and we are focusing on that in our discussions. I also think that artists and curators complement each other in terms of what they can see and what they can't see, and what they can and cannot do. There is no professional director in the arts, so this complementary relationship is important here as well.

--It seems that there is both excitement and difficulty in complementing each other's missing parts.

Nakano: Certainly, there will be a need for conflict. But that doesn't mean we fight (lol), we create an exhibition while interacting with each other. Artists create works, and curators work with them to create exhibitions. Technical staff will also be involved. In my attempt at From Silence, spatial art and temporal art were further intertwined. By the way, when I looked at the projects of other curators for this year's competition for the Japan Pavilion in Venice, I found it very interesting to see that they envisioned collaborations with such performers and demonstrators. That's why, along with the keyword "connection," I also think a lot about involvement.

--In this competition, there was also a plan to propose collaboration between Japanese and Korean pavilions. Is it possible to accept this as a desire to interact while acknowledging differences and distance?

Nakano: That's right. I think the selection results indicate that our proposal was suitable for display at the Japan Pavilion. That said, we talked about it on Skype almost every night, and like we talked about earlier, there was a time when I felt pressure and evil thoughts before a big stage... (bitter smile) ). That's why I'm honestly happy that I was chosen, and now all I have to do is work hard towards the actual performance.

Shioda: Actually, my name was put forward by another curator in the competition before last, but I wasn't selected. Looking back now, it was my first experience at that time, and I don't think I really knew what to do. I was thinking that if something like that happened, I wouldn't be heard from again. So when Nakano-san approached me this time, I thought this was the first and last time we would be able to make a proposal together for this stage. After all these things, I am really happy to be able to exhibit it in Venice this time. Mr. Nakano called me early in the morning to tell me that it had been decided (lol).

Chiharu Shioda

--Do you feel like this plan is moving forward until the exhibition opens next year?

Nakano: That's right. Maybe there will be changes. Of course, we focus on the core aspects, but in the end, there are many things you won't understand until you try. I'm sure this was the case this time as well, and no matter how much you make a model or simulate it, things will change during the process of realization. I talked about a lot of things today, but I think there are things that can only be understood by seeing the actual exhibition. That's why I would be happy if everyone could see it in person if possible.

--Thank you for your time today.

Nakano: Well then, Chiharu-san, I'll contact you again soon.

Shioda: Yes (lol). thank you.

<Looking for keys> Your keys will be used in the works of the Biennale. Chiharu Shiota

We are looking for keys to use in our new work ``Palm Key'' for the 56th Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition.
Click here for details

《Related events》
Chiharu Shiota “Maquette” <This event has ended. 〉
Saturday, August 30, 2014 - Thursday, October 2, 2014
Kenjitaki Gallery (Nagoya)
This exhibition will focus on models of works scheduled to be exhibited at the 56th Venice Biennale, as well as maquettes of past installations and two-dimensional works including new works.
http://www.kenjitaki.com/

Opening hours: 11:00-13:00 / 14:00-18:00
Closed days: Sundays, Mondays, holidays

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