Mai Yamashita + Naoto Kobayashi:
Ein Hund und Holzskulpturen
Die Videoinstallationen des japanische Künstlerduos Mai Yamashita + Naoto Kobayashi basieren auf Konzeptkunstmethodik. Im Asifakeil präsentieren sie während ihrer MQ-Residency ihr neues Projekt „Ein Hund und Holzskulpturen“, in Zusammen- arbeit mit ihrem Hund, dem sie dabei selbstgeschnitzte, primitive Holzfiguren überliessen. Zerstörte, dekonstruierte, oder verbesserte Figuren werden gemeinsam mit dem Video des mit ihnen spielenden Hundes ausgestellt.
Am 27.3. um 19:00 präsentieren Mai Yamashita + Naoto Kobayashi persönlich eine Auswahl ihrer Projekte im Raum D/quartier21 im MQ.
In den Monaten März und April 2014 leben und arbeiten sie auf Einladung von ASIFA AUSTRIA als Artists in Residence im Museumsquartier Wien.
The Japanese artist duo Mai Yamashita + Naoto Kobayashi creates video installations based on methodologies of conceptual art. At Asifakeil they will present their new project „A Dog And Wooden Sculptures“, which is a collaboration work with their dog, produced during their MQ residency. In the project, they curve primitive wooden sculptures by hand and gave them to their dog. Destroyed, deconstructed or improved figures will be installed together with the video of the dog playing with them.
On March 27th Mai Yamashita + Naoto Kobayashi will personally present a choice of their projects in Raum D/quartier21 in the MQ.
In March and April 2014 they stay and work as arists in residence in the Museumsquartier Vienna, based on an invitation by ASIFA AUSTRIA.
Throughout our career we have experimented with incorporating metamorphosis, destruction, deterioration, and wear into the process of creating our works, for example by leaving the production of the piece to other forces such as nature or animals, or by spending a long amount of time doing something. In Lion & Canvas (2008), for instance, we let lions destroy the canvas, and in Rubbing a Camel (2012), the two of us rubbed the hump of a bronze cast camel constantly until it shone. The focal point of these works was not what we would create, but rather what sort of route, or flow, of activity was possible. To be more precise, we are interested both in building a miraculous relationship between several unrelated things through our creative work, and, alternatively, the act itself of causing incidents to occur in the real world.
The project we would be working on during residency at quartier21 would be an extension of that. For this project, we would be collaborating with our dog, Anne, who lives with us. Last year we already created one work (see attached) in which we presented Anne with a sculpture carved in her semblance. We would de- velop that concept further with our new project.
We would carve a group of primitive wooden sculptures in primordial forms such as man, animal, house, tree, fruit, Earth, and cloud, then present them to Anne as toys, and finally exhibit the pieces after they have undergone a transformation from her playing with them, nibbling and breaking them. They will likely become altered to the extent that they will look something like ancient excavated artifacts with missing heads and broken legs, the original form of which one can just barely imagine. There is often something particularly awe-inspiring about damaged relics, and we think that it is not so much something that is awe-inspiring about the object itself, but rather something brought upon the object from the weight of the events and histories that we imagine lay beyond it. We will display the wooden sculptures hanging by strings from the ceiling of the exhibition room. While observing these dangling, damaged sculptures at the venue, we think the viewer will start to wonder and fantasize about their background. However, at the same time, we will project a video in the exhibition space taken of Anne playing with the sculptures, biting and destroying them. The gap between the superficially heavy ambience emanating from the brutal traces left on the sculptures, and the actual, innocent figure of the dog happily playing with the sculptures, will con- struct the exhibition space.
Rather than taking this piece as the dichotomy of “creation/destruction” , it would be more accurate to un- derstand it as a humorous expression reflecting the concept of mujo or impermanence (a world-view that accepts and finds truth in the fact that even permanent objects are transient), innate within us Japanese and characteristic of a country that sees so many natural disasters, expressed in the saying that "All things are in a state of flux".
Mai Yamashita + Naoto Kobayashi