‘Librarying’ refers to various shared activities that took place in the ‘Library’ (11.11-27.11.2016) as part of the project in ARCUS Project, Japan. The -ing of ‘Librarying’ emphasizes a practice of doing together in the temporary platform of dialogue. In ‘Librarying’, which was open in public as well, participants looked at books temporarily collected together and separately set by each contribution and searched for their own activities individually and collectively—there were no instructions about what to do. The ‘Library’ exhibited everyday changes made by participation, gradually occupying the space; books were delivered by post day by day and the activities of the participation were shown to the audience; the audience not only encountered them but also were naturally asked to take part in a current activity.
As part of research, text-mapping and -collaging were realized by the artist on-site at the same time. Focusing on keywords such as historicizing the avant-garde/Japanese avant-garde and localisation/“contemporary”/art activism, the mapping showed a struggle and confrontation in the contemporary visual arts in Japan. As an example, it was once grounded in a “Bad world” which refers to the Japanese art world as “art” in contrast to “ART”(Noi Sawaragi, art critic)—the mainstream of the art world, then turned to “Micropop”, Japanese contemporary avant-garde, that it is no longer necessary to compare Japanese art/artists with the mainstream of the art world (Midori Matsui, art critic).
‘Librarying’ is an open research laboratory that sought for an organic platform to exchange and produce knowledge voluntarily in which a boundary between audience, participant and artist became blurred after all.
photo by Hajime Kato