Hard//hoofd selecteert zorgvuldig uit een oerwoud aan mogelijkheden. Deze keer Sachi Miyachi, de Japanse performance- en installatiekunstenaar. (N.B. Tekst in het Engels)
What are we looking at?
At photo 1. you see large scale models of cleaning instruments - such as a spray bottle, a bucket and a mop – these are naked structures made from strips of wood, like delicate skeletons, fragile and transparent. The architectonic quality of the larger works and the ability to literally 'see through' them makes their site specificity even more vital to their reading. The work imbricates the place where it is shown; the Cleaning Cart for instance, becomes some twisted monument to a controlled urbanity. My intention was to address and explore fears of a collapsing urban structure. Every city has a common aim to become an effectively functioning metropolitan. In view of this I want to emphasise how visions of an effective and ‘great’ city are most always characterized by ideas of a clean city. It might be a universal wish to work in a pristine office in an urban building with high quality security and cleaning systems. I build a big bucket, a mop and spray bottle on a cart in order to monumentalize a ‘controlled urbanity’ or an armoured and neurotic vehicle.
Photo 2. shows a procession has a beginning and an end in its line. It needs some certain elements to make 'fade in' and 'fade out'.
At the head of advancing line, I would like to clear the way with wishes for a success of the procession and our life in the city. It is a performance playing with an ceremonial manner, purifying the street with salt and pepper. Salt and pepper are dairy necessity on our table, often taken for a ceremonial situation. Pepper has been a main spice and a reason why the city, Amsterdam was grown as an international port in the past. 2 performers are working and throwing salt with a repeated gestures based on sign language to tell, ' death', 'big family', 'small family', 'gezellig', 'chatting', 'life'' and throwing salt. 4 performers grind pepper with pepper mile with orderly resume.
At the end of procession, I would like to clean the street with an 11-metre-long mop that is rinsed out in the canal. This idea aims to clean up all kinds of dirtiness of the city, and same time, to carry them all to the goal, an exhibition space, W139. This quite heavy mop, carried by 10 people, could be seen as a representation of the Cross without religious context.
This artwork aims to explore both conceptually and perceptually a spatial form of the space and its location, the former factory building where the exhibition was situated.
By time and function, the place has changed its own character. The situation of the building is described by a word ‘Transition’. Nothing is active. All left behind. And, all of things are being planned for a future user. Looking at some reminding objects, sliding cranes with a letter max. 50.000kg above, thick cables running through the whole space and hundreds of lockers in the basement allows us to imagine the past days and hundreds of anonymous workers life. The imagination is never enough to understand how it was. At the same time, the imagination is always beyond what it was. The transitional situation gives us possible seeds of imaginations that indicate an imaginary gate to enter hypothetical stories. It is a neutral space laid between seeing and being. It is an instrument to measure the distance of the reality. That is invisible but occupies the space and constructs the air and crystallises the passing moments.
For the form of this artwork, I was inspired by the iteration structures of the building that very awakened to the curiosity of the visual systems of eyes.
Can you tell us more about the way you work?
My work consists mainly of three-dimensional installations, drawings and performances. Many of my works embody models of 'operational strategies' originating from the function or dysfunction of a social environment. I am inspired by the conflicting relationship between environment, technology and human. How these relationships delimit the efficiency of an urban structure.
What becomes fundamental to my art practice is a combination of memory (both visual and narrative) and a use of scale, craft and material. Although I am dealing with very 'present' issues the processes I employ are incredibly lo-tech, although highly skilled. What also becomes reflected in the work is not only my response to the world I find myself consumed by, but a personal control, a ritualistic and obsessive making in an attempt to physicalise and bring form to one's own mental archive. However, a model-like quality is also present in other more autonomous works. Sometimes I create small depictions of processes of decay and renewal, in order to represent a metamorphosis of memories. In this way my work remains responsive, ranging from intimate to formal, from situational to autonomous, and from sculptural to performative.
What fascinates you?
To think about the ability of forgetting. And volcanoes.
Whose work do you admire?
Michael Borremans (artist), Elise Eeraerts (artist), Andreas Gursky (photographer), Werner Herzog (film director), Hisashi Inoue (novelist), Junya Ishigami (architect), Jakuchu Ito (painter), Rei Kawakubo (designer), On Kawara (artist), Kumagusu Minakata (naturalist), Sinichi Nakazawa (anthropologist), Tatsu Nishi (artist), Kenzaburo Oe (novelist), Kazuo Ono (danser), Taiyo Onorato & Nico Krebs (photographers), Syouhaku Soga (painter), Shinya Tsukamoto (film director),Paolo Uccello (painter),Yoji Yamada (film director).