adrianのブログ

チェックと日本の現代美術界についての感想

島袋道浩

2013年8月23日


I have just published with Art Forum a review of the excellent current retrospective of Shimabuku at Birmingham Ikon Gallery, curated by Jonathan Watkins. 楽しんでください

The online review can be found here:

http://artforum.com/index.php?pn=picks&id=42603&view=print

Here is the text:

Berlin-based global rover Shimabuku has long been recognized in his native Japan as a pioneer of social and relational art. This first extensive international retrospective offers a satisfying overview of his gently humorous musings on everyday life and community, usually in the form of videos, installations and photographic narratives about the places he visits and people he meets. Birmingham's neo-gothic late-Victorian Ikon Gallery—a kind of kunsthalle in a former school—offers an elegant backdrop, its variable spaces allowing for an appropriately roomy show, which puts a special emphasis on narrative works made over the years in the UK.

Cucumber Journey (2000) was just that, the story of a leisurely canal journey from London to Birmingham in which the artist learned how to make "slow food": in this case, cucumber pickles, given to friends on arrival. In Swansea Jack (2003), the artist invented and organised a memorial competition in which dogs retrieved objects from the sea in memory of a heroic black retriever who saved many people from drowning. In Fish and Chips (2006), a dreamy underwater video with music documented the blind date of a potato suspended on a fishing line "meeting" live fish in the River Mersey. And, in the one original work conceived for this show, a small catalogue was made available on the streets of the city, but only as a free supplement to The Big Issue, a magazine sold by homeless and unemployed vendors.

The ideas can be hit and miss, and the works collectively demand a suspension of sophisticated critical habits. Nowhere is irony intended; Shimabuku seeks a pure kind of artistic wonder, devoid of the edge so often sought in social art. Ikon director Jonathan Watkins has a long track record in selecting important Japanese contemporary artists who confound our expectations about the country’s popular culture or high-tech futurism; in Shimabuku he has found the perfect ambassador.

An index to all my blog writings for ART-iT can be found here:

http://www.art-it.asia/u/rhqiun/4sSyJd5MBKF3c8E2iGXP/

ADRIAN FAVELL
http://www.adrianfavell.com









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