Sunday, 26 July 2015

Indefinable Cities → Japan : Day 12

Today was largely a free day after the late night exertions of the night before to finish install ahead of today's opening of both Only Connect's "Dogs in a Room" and the fourth installation in Indefinable Cities Japanese odyssey - "Grovglio/Tangle" by Emily Speed.


The free day was welcome, as the next impending typhoon here in typhoon season in Japan, is due to hit sometime tomorrow, and prior to that, the equatorial warm air picked up by the typhoon on its journey north has settled over Onomichi, lifting the temperature outside to about 39 degrees - and with the humidity levels, it makes for difficult working conditions for someone used to Stoke-on-Trent's altogether cooler climate. It's interesting to watch how those local to this climate manage to work through the conditions, while still aware of just how hot it is - and there are a variety of coping techniques and aids. 

But time to slowly document the works of both Emily and the group show next door to her. 

Emily Speed's interests lies in the relationship between people and buildings and her work explores the body and its relationship to architecture. The idea of shelter and the inhabitant is at the core of much of the work; how a person is shaped by the buildings they have occupied and how a person occupies their own psychological space.

In 'Garbuglio/Tangle' Speed presents a curtain comprised of diamond projections which form an outer wall; inside these soft rustications, a collection of fragments of film are projected; a tangle of flesh, stone and cloth. The work began during a residency in Rome ( the curtain's repeated pyramidical outer form responds to a particular building witnessed during that residency)  and questions the relationship of the senses to the architecture of the city.

Koh Yoshida has chosen this temple-rich city, with its distinct architecture, as the location for this work - and the site too, with Komyoji-kaikan's close proximity to both temple and graveyard, and this groups largely site-specific-focussed output playing a prominent role.

Meanwhile in the room next door, and some leaking outside, the group show presents an altered landscape, a post-apocalyptic playground and an anthropomorphical taxonomy of alien furniture sculptures re-seen as four-legged/wheeled creatures roaming through. More to come abbout the chaos of Dogs in a Room. 


The day finished with a spectacular 2 hour firework display in honour of the importance of the port, and its workers to the continued prosperity of Onomichi. I guess there will always be some reservations about the ethics of such grandiose displays and the money involved, despite the awe and wonder of a great fireworks display - and this one was amazing -  especially in today's economic global climate and, here, considering the amount of abandoned, unusable residential house, suggestive of a failing economy.

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