Focusing on the keywords of the text-mapping in the ‘Library’—Historicizing the avant-garde, Japanese avant-garde and localisation, “Contemporary” and Art activism—, a panel discussion took place in the end of ‘Librarying’ (26.11.2016). This event was part of the work organized by the artist in order to explore a discussion platform in a participatory work. A form of a conference organized by a cultural institution has a certain agenda and set of speaking, and a way of moderation and its seriousness often hinder imagination beyond them. The discussion was intended to challenge such platform of speaking. Panelists consisted of Yoshio Shirakawa (artist, art critic), Sen Uesaki (art study/archive theorist) and Toyama Koichi (Kyushu Fascist Party, revolutionary) and the discussion was moderated by Andrew Maerkle (Deputy Editor, ART iT). The discussion was lmed by Artists’ Guild, Japanese artist collective, and Camilo Henriquez.
Yoshio Shirakawa 白川昌生
Artist / Art critic 美術家 / 美術評論家
Shirakawa Yoshio studied philosophy and art in France and Germany during the 1970s and returned to Japan in 1983. Since then, based in Gunma Prefecture, he has undertaken to embrace regional, peripheral and minor characteristics of the area actively by realizing projects such as “Location: Gunma” that is strongly connected with the regional history, culture, and economy apart from dominant contemporary art trends and discourses and a central logic of the mainstream of the art world. Moreover, Shirakawa has taken a forward-looking approach to a current art trend, emphasizing multiculturalism and social participation. Having carried out an extensive researched and written on modern and contemporary art history, he continuously criticizes and re-examines art-historical perspectives and standards that have prevailed in the mainstream of the contemporary visual arts. His works often employ everyday materials with shape and color reconfigured with a light touch and arrayed precisely. Shirakawa conveys the magic and potential of sculpture while continuing to explore its theory and practice.
Sen Uesaki 上崎千
art study/archive theory 芸術学/アーカイブ理論
Uesaki is interested in “the end of art,” dragging up the obsolete anxiety of the museum. He examines non-curatorial, non-displaying, and hence archival state of art in the postmodernist period: without fructification as individual pieces the art remained as a vague middle-layer between language and material corpus.
Koichi Toyama 外山恒
Kyushu Fascist Party, a revolutionary 「九州ファシスト党〈我々団〉」総統。革命家。
Born in 1970. Lives in Fukuoka, Japan. Koichi Toyama self-proclaimed as a “good fascist”, attempting to subvert democracy = mobocracy. In 2007, Toyama ran for Tokyo gubernatorial election as a candidate and attracted considerable attention for his speech in which he completely disapproved an electoral system. Since then, he has followed after election campaign cars by pro-nuclear groups with his propaganda truck that speaks “Let’s destroy such a country by nuclear power” with Chopin’s funeral march in every big elections in Japan among other political actions of him. Along with it, he has carried out a Fake Election Campaign that appeals for a zero vote. Through such actions, he attempts to take serious issues in a non-serious manner and vice versa. Although he persistently insists that “What I do is political activities, by no means sophomoric art”, he once claimed that “in order for art to have power, it must not declare itself art”.
*Additional note: although his action is rather regarded as anarchistic. However, he insists to call himself a “good fascist”. He argues that “a-narchy” can be no longer understood and discussed as it is under a democratic system (it usually presents a state of “disorder” due to absence of authority). Consisting of four party members, Kyushu Facist Party often plays with common notions of politics and questions how they are already too established. Its social and political action is regarded as not “political” in the sense that it does not benefit from a political categorization.
Andrew Maerkle アンドリュー・マークル
Deputy Editor, ART iT | International Edition ART iTインターナショナル版副編集長
Andrew Maerkle is a writer, editor and researcher based in Tokyo. He is currently the Deputy Editor of the bilingual online art publication ART iT | International Edition, and a contributor to international journals including Art & Australia, Artforum and Frieze. From 2006-08 he was the Deputy Editor of ArtAsiaPacific magazine in New York.
1981年生まれ。2003年ニューヨークコロンビア大学比較文学社会科を卒業。元Art Asia Pacific誌副編集長。現在はART iTインターナショナル版副編集長を務めるほか、海外のアートマガジン「Artforum」や「frieze」などにも寄稿している。日本を中心とした国内外の現代アートについての評論を主に書いている。
photo by Hajime Kato