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Performance Art (Extra Senses)
I define my art-works as sculptures depicting action and time and relationship between artist and audience, artist and materials, in which I attempt to create an example of the human condition.
Human beings are contradictory creatures. When one is giving a presentation of any kind to onefs society, it is necessary to unify thoughts and focus in order to avoid conflict; however, by doing so, one ends up losing a second or a third sense.I am interested with these senses that can be got rid of "extra senses".
In my art-works, I often involve an audience and materials, neither of which I can control well. Audience is a kind of others in a society for me. And most of materials I chose are everyday necessities for us. Both are typical objects for human condition in our life.
In some works, there may be interaction with audience or passengers. In the other works, materials, for example, the water, salt and grain spill over, the fruits fall onto the floor, the other items or objects break very slowly. And at the end of which, a person, namely me, fall down on the floor or work hard due to exhaustion. Human bodies are objects, too. Their works depends upon gthe others emotionh and "gravity". Both the process and result are included in my art-works in order to share the experience and show how the notion of ambivalence, ambiguity and unpredictability evolves and demonstrate how I cope with the situation. I would like to find our varied possibilities and that for the one time it must be only one condition. What was the best? In the way, I would relieve gan extra senseh in each situation, I hope.
It seems scientifically impossible to measure and express pain in the body . Doctors and scholars are still divided as to whether pain react from an affected part or it originated in the brain. we have more or less known for some time that mental problems affect our bodies experimentally. But it is all the more difficult to explain such mechanisms objectively, paticularly in the case with the other people. When we deeply feel pain experienced by people close to us, is it because of imagination or sympathy, or is it because we have one collective "body"? On the other hand, is the understanding of the pain on far people the issue of humanism? Interpretation depending onto circumstances makes the nature of the senses incomprehensive. In the end, it is a question of consciousness and representation. I think that question of pain symbolize art-work revolving around the theme of "body". it is rather better for art that the more considering the nature, the more discovering the extension of the interpretation and the possibility of representation, which never be welcome from science.
for the work "Garden"
I am very stupid. I always forget things. I just stand.
I just listen.
I love to look at the sky very much.
I love to listen to the various sounds from around the the world .
Most of them don't have any name.
The sky above Japan is the same as the sky above Africa.
When some apples fall down, they make a sound on the ground.
Each occasion has a different sound. but no name.
just sound when apples fall.
Too many different sounds, nobody can name them.
Above all not necessary in human society.
Do you know my smell? Ignore my name.
I just to move to listen to the sounds from the world.
It is not be easy. Like torture.
Because the sound are from the world but really from me.
only when I act, the world make sound. like echo.
It means I nevercc?
but sound is very wonderful . hope to let me say it is lovely.
Please come to smell me. Ignore the sound.
Once I went out of my door,
I was very surprised by a sound I had never listened.
I found a dead cicada on the ground near my foot.
I have never imagine a cicada has weight to make sound.
I have known cicadas.
I had seen them, I had read information about them from books,
I had listened to the sound they make on the tree.
But I found I saw it is the first time to see that dead cicada.
I picked up thecicada, and I realized he was very light.
And I smelled him carefully to know him.
Time and Boring
for minimal/distance of Performance Art vol.2
20th September 1999
I am very interested with how to flow time. One day I and the other performer made performance this composed by only two action, standing and lying. When the one stands, the other must lie.If the lying stands, the standing have to lie down.Ê We go forword little by little in keeping this rule. The lying have the authority to deside the tempo to go forword, this authority changes, when the role changes. At first we tried this kind of work around a clock tower, we depended on the timing of tinishing to the clock. This performance was easier, but I found it was mistake. The clock controled our bodies, so we acted in inertia as our experiences of wage worker. We discussed about difference between performace and labor. Then we decided to depend on timing of finishing performance to the site . We make our performance only through our nonverbal dialogue, not under the control of some big system (like clock) or somebodyÕs temporal feeling. Then the other performer worried that we might bore our action. So we discussed about this idea, boring and about not boring again. At last I asserted that we never bore. When we did, as I expected, we relaxed and enjoyed our performance, only standing and lying. Our performance was not easy. But I cirtified to make it interest. If we recognize time passing not as flow but mass, we feel boring. In either case whole or some part, a character of performance depends on what controls the sequence of it. ( The other day when I met a Chinese artist, he asked me what public issue is popular in Japan now. I replied it was monotonus, a basic tone of Japan society is monotonous. We Japanese restain ourselves each other not to be different. And the Japanese is so stoick as to expression to control laugh and angry if possible, this is our national culture and character. However we sometimes feel boring ourselves and try to break such monotonous, for all that we come to laugh and angry together. It seems to have economical effect. We laugh and angry not at risk. And for such behaveiour we turn to more monotonous.ÊMost of people misunderstands our monotonous comes from less excitements. This is different matter to the boring I mentioned formerly.)
Preparing and serving our tea time
Body is the material which is very close to our consciousness and which we always concern with. If I cut my body, I feel pain. Hurting my body harder, it may result my death. My body seems to be tided with my consciosness, but it sometimes act out of control. It is so troublesome material.
On the case of others body the situation is not also simple. The others body is not comfortable in general. I think we manage to harmonize with the others body by using a concept, society, humanism or family. On the other hands, we sometimes have an earnest emotion to be close to some body. This occurs on a love affair. And we sometimes have ambivalent feeling between unifying and leaving apart to others body. We call it longing and defication. These emotion is based on two sides of feeling, hatred and love. I think this phenomena on body is complicated, illogical,immoral and barbarous.
The basis of performance art has more troublesome element in comparision with other genre art. If we make a performance art without paying attention to such characteristic, even though we do in deep conceptual work, the result come to farce. Then I want to put a question the reason why performance art come to farce mostly. We have neglected this situation in the history of art. DonÕt misunderstand me, I don't mean they are excellent.
Now the 20th century which is decorated with bloody episode is passing, then what kind of ideal do we have for art? Can we put, a period on this farce history on near future? So when we answer this question, the performance art might take active part for, because the performance art also inevitably come to farce.
(I am an Asian and a woman. When I use this body for art, People may evalite with double preconceptions. My body is the subject on my work but people may regard it as only material. The point of view to observe my work might be limited by its attribute. Then many may not notice the deep theme behind the material. I would like to evade such cheep mistake, if possible. But I half think it is less important problem.Ê Because performance art.)
In addition the Japanese word "chaban" (farce, in English) originally meant a role to prepare and serve tea and a kind of comedy genre, it was the traditional plays in the old times.
I tried to define aspects of body for Performance Art.
1. The Body as Moving Sculpture
In this, the body is the foundation of the Action-Performance Art for me. I construct a sculpture for the movement of gthe body (my body, her body)h that responds to gmyh commands. I donft want to have it move like a machine and in repetitive choreographed sequences. And then such movement or action as an Action-Performance Art would look irritating because the command has come from a distance and it emphasizes the gap between my own consciousness and body.
2. The Material body (The Body that is not named)
I made performances often by this type of body. Many materials exist in the world, which have no name. Our material body comes into the world without a name. When this body moves, sounds are created from the friction among clothes and skin and bone and so on. There are also the sounds of clapping, of knocking on a wall as well as the sound something makes as it falls on the ground. This body makes the sound of a heartbeat, the clearest sound with which we feel life. All these sounds make us conscious of the fact that all of us, as well as all the material on the earth have weight, and that sounds are not just an idea or something from our imagination but something substantial. They make us aware of the fact that this body is an entity that existed before a name had been attributed to it. I imagine the clarity of these sounds, each with its own peculiar life, high spirited and robust; with its own destiny.
Besides sound, there is a lot of other material without a name that still makes us feel life in our bodies. For example, a particular breath is difficult to explain with words, but we perceive it very clearly. A special smell we experience and never forget. In fact, most things caught by our perception that I donft want to ignore actually have no name. On the other hand, things that have names are useful for human society. People need them to distinguish one thing from the other. So, they give each thing a name. Even to countries. I sometimes wonder, how do we give a name to a piece of land? What things have been forgotten by giving them names?
3.The Social Body (The Body that is named)
This is about the body with obligations and rights in society as a citizen. With this body we should express our own will and right to do with our own bodies not any others. This body doesnft play a certain part or character, because this gbodyh has its own social position and life under its own peculiar circumstances, that is to say, its age, sex and nationality, the times it lives in; and its own outlook on life. These have an influence on some habits, on behavior and on culture. It also belongs to society and country, so there are often times when it has no freedom for itself. In my artworks, I use these characteristics of the body intentionally. The use of this body in this manner in guerilla-action style street performances is very effective because people look at me not as a street performer but as just another person on the street. When I work with people, it is more interesting.
4. The Body that is Conscious of its Distance from Other People
This is about the various aspects of one's relationship with the bodies of other people. Discrimination, unpleasantness, allowance, approach, familiarity, unity, love, respect, yearning, feeling somebody divine. All of these concepts or perceptions are not separate. Sometimes, An opposing idea can appear in the same situation. This comes from the idea of distance and it is a way of mapping the relation and measuring distance in human society.
In Japan, for example, in the past although we respected people who carried out work related to God and religion, traditionally we also discriminated against them as outsiders; nowadays, we might simply regard them as people who are merely living separate from us and outside of what is considered normal, everyday life, but not sure in our under consciousness.
5. The Body that is a Vessel for Personality
In an attempt to interpret "an unknown or unfamiliar person " as "a stranger", we can perhaps play with a fictional image. When a part of our personality leaves a body, we create a blank space for that part of the body. What will happen to it? In one of my art-project experiences I was separated from my body in the street and into the blank that remained another artist placed other personality. The artist made a film work of the project. It was not a happy story but it was a really good experience for me, although painful.
6. The Body that would Experience Life as Another Creature
Cats are sometimes under the illusion that they are members of the human race, you know. I would like to try to create a similar situation, for myself. For example, I would try to see what it is like to become a body that believes I am another living thing. Such a situation would not be a case of simply imitating that creature; I would be studying its inner truth or reality by going through the same experiences.
7. The Invisible Body
In this we have a body whose image is created only by information and memories. In the action representing the concept it is sometimes not necessary to look. We do not need to watch or observe. And we can imagine it before or after or the same but from separated places. And when the body appears, we can watch the body with our memories of imagination. I will have performance with this idea for the piece "Wind from Sky".
8. The Body as Nomad (Living beyond Space and Time)
This body is one that doesnft belong to any particular place or location. It is one that goes on pilgrimage, one that never ceases in its desire to migrate. It is a body that has been broken and is in a state of transformation from a "Social body". In relation to this, we can imagine it as opposite to the body that settles down on a "plot of land". It is very important.
9. The Body as an Ideal for the New Century
Throughout history, humans have expressed various gslogansh through numerous body stances and gestures. From the18th through to the 20th centuries it was a period of democratic revolution; people exalted with the gesture of raising their fists. The sense of unity and exaltation was wonderful, but for the ideal to be achieved other people had to fall or be defeated; and this was no small thing. In the 20th century we had to make too many sacrifices. And we remember it well.Now it is time to create appropriate body stance or gesture for the 21st century. I am researching for it, interview and communication and discussion and collaboration and symposium and tour and festival and talk as eating together, through art and having the relax time, with many different kind of people.
I am very interested in the concept of " delusion ". I believe that the central idea of my life is mostly delusion. Delusion sometimes gives me the big HOPE to continue enjoying life. Delusion sometimes attacks me and tempts me to commit suicide.
What am I? Who am I? Who and what are we? When we cannot love what we are, we cannot accept ourselves. It is quite normal, isn't it? We accept what we can feel and love. I don't want to have any philosophical thoughts.
I saw a very attractive logical misunderstanding from a book about schizophrenia: "Human beings are alive. Plants are alive; THEREFORE Human beings are plants." I felt it to be true. I love such dramatics.