Identity VIII - curated by Shihoko Iida-
2012.6.22 - 7/28
|Gabriella Mangano &vSilvana Mangano "Drawing1"|
Place: nca | nichido contemporary art
Date: June 22nd (Fri.) – July 28th (Sat.), 2012
Reception: June 22nd (Fri.) 18:00 – 20:00
Opening hours: Tue. – Sat. 11:00 - 19:00 / Closed on Sun. Mon. and National Holidays
Artists: Meiro Koizumi (Japan) / Gabriella Mangano and Silvana Mangano (Australia) / Bradley McCallum & Jacqueline Tarry (America) / Yoshinori Niwa (Japan) / Tejal Shah (India)
nca | nichido contemporary art is delighted to announce its eighth group exhibition entitled “identity VIII.”
This exhibition is curated by independent curator, Shihoko Iida, under the theme of “Identity” from her point of view. Several international artists are featured in the exhibition.
Embracing heterogeneity, affirming differences―Identity and Performance
Japan has long been described as a monoracial country and monocultural society. This suggests that the implications presented by the forgetting of history, a sense of political agency that seeks to vindicate a stable national identity, and a respect for individuals and the disparities that can be found within a single social unit have not been fully discussed in the public sphere. Up until now, Japan has been a society where it is possible to live without paying too much attention to the necessity for an educational system that would sharpen one’s sensitivity to the subtle differences between people that we encounter on a daily basis, a social tolerance that would accept these disparities, and practice discussing issues with people whose opinions diverge from one’s own without becoming critical of the other person. And yet it is obvious that this country now finds itself in the midst of a daily reality pressed up against a debate from which there seems to be no escape, faced with a question that has no single, correct answer.
This exhibition, which focuses on the theme of identity in the context of this contemporary Japan, seeks to embrace heterogeneity and affirm differences rather than questioning the uniformity of the self at an individual level.
Meiro Koizumi’s “Inder Kommen Sie / It’s a Comedy”, which is being shown for the first time in Japan, takes the representation of omnipotent gods and goodness such as Senju-kannon and Durga, as point of departure. Here, the multiple-arms of a man hinder him from reading out loud the book, Dissentient Judgement of Justice Pal, Radhabinod Pal’s judgment of Japanese war crimes during WWⅡ. The man’s integration of language and the body are obstructed by the arms, suggesting, humorously at times, the multiple interpretations and self-contradiction within issues of nationalism and history in Japan and India.
Yoshinori Niwa presents a performance based video work in which he walks in the opposite direction to a demonstration march that opposes nuclear power plants. The video critically articulates an act of resistance against an invisible influence that encourages a homogeneous response, and the absence of identity when faced with a situation in which everyone’s sympathies are in agreement with each other. Both of these works refer to a sense of self-contradiction and difference within collectivist notions of country, society, history and language that may seem to be utterly uniform at first glance. A contrastive reading of these pieces alongside the historical events and mass crowds that are given new interpretations in the paintings of McCallum & Tarry also promises to shed new insight into these issues.
On the other hand, Gabriella Mangano and Silvana Mangano explore the way in which homogeneity and difference are merely two inseparable sides of the same thing – in contrast with Koziumi, however, they express this notion through the uniquely synchronized sensation of physicality. Tejal Shah addresses the sense of isolation and difference that accompanies feelings of intimacy (or alienation) in relation to others, the space of the city, and sexuality. Her collaborative works in this exhibition (with Varsha Nair in Encounter(s). and with Marco Paulo Rolla in Trans-) attempt to transcend the contours of these emotions by suggesting the possibility of exchange and connection.
Taken collectively, these works are a critical and performative presentation of the concept of identity. They are propositions that will allow us to take the first tentative steps towards creating a society that embraces heterogeneity.
Born in Tokyo, Japan. Iida joined the Tokyo Opera City Cultural Foundation in 1998 for the inauguration of its Art Gallery (TOCAG) and worked as curator until 2009. From 2009 to 2011, she worked as visiting curator in the Queensland Art Gallery, Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane. Following to that, Iida stayed in Seoul for four months as 2011 International Fellowship Researcher, hosted by the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea. She currently works as independent curator as well as one of co-curators of Aichi Triennale 2013.
Major curated exhibitions include: Omnilogue: Journey to the West (co-curatorial project organised by the Japan Foundation. Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi in 2012); Trace Elements: Spirit and Memory in Japanese and Australian Photomedia (co-curated with Bec Dean. TOCAG, Tokyo in 2008 and Performance Space, Sydney in 2009); Wolfgang Tillmans: Freischwimmer, TOCAG in 2004.
Support： | Ai Kowada Gallery | ANNA SCHWARTZ GALLERY | annet gelink gallery | The Japan Foundation | project 88