CHRISTIAN FERREIRA is pleased to present the first collaborative installation by British artists Tom Milnes & Sabine Okami in the Accumulator Tower at the Wapping Hydraulic Power Station. Titled, Kioku, this ambitious installation sees Milnes & Okami working with personal elements relating to emotional memories felt through disconnection.
The word kioku can be translated as both ‘memory’ and ‘storage’, though it is unlikely that the average London gallery-goer would be aware of this. Tom Milnes & Sabine Okami’s collaborative installation ‘Kioku’ is a shuddering (un)monument to memory, translation and distance – a collection of works, images, objects and histories on the verge of violent collapse.
When the Tôhoku earthquake and tsunami hit Japan in 2011, Sabine Okami was, like many others with relatives in the country, unable to communicate with her grandparents in Japan. This abrupt severing of contact with an older familial generation became a hole, a vortex, a focal point for the artists’ evocations of distance, absence, commemoration and translation. The earthquake is posited as analogy not only for the collapse of a nation, of order, the loss of actual human lives, but also as a signifier of cultural, personal and geographical distance. Tôhoku becomes a locus for the persistence of trauma, the tear into narrative: the fracturing of memory storage shelves.
‘Kioku’ is a collection of woodcut prints on paper. The prints replicate the packaging of Japanese convenience food – like the word of the title, these prints are recognizable to the average western viewer only as foreign, as Eastern, Japanese (perhaps), but otherwise unspecific and untranslated; unreadable. These hand-cut reproductions are overlaid with simple line drawings from photographs of Okami’s family. These drawings of other people’s images - the photographs are culled from Okami’s parents and grandparents, they are their memories and not hers, from outside of her life or experience – blend into the packaging images; engendering a misrecognition in the viewer that replicates the artist’s own disconnect from her family and histories.
Despite its literal shaking and conceptual allusions to distance, alienation and a kind of floating, precarious identity; ‘Kioku’ is also grounded both in its location and materiality. Shunning the slick packaging and smooth photographic surfaces referenced by the work, Milnes and Okami cling stubbornly to a DIY aesthetic – painstakingly hand carving their woodcuts, building shelves from functional timber and messily folding their paper prints, which sit precariously in uneven rows. That they have built a warehouse of products towering devastatingly over the viewer is also a direct reference to the history of their site, with the Wapping Hydraulic Power Station sitting in the middle of an area whose function was, until recently, to provide warehouses for storage – a purpose quickly forgotten and a memory replaced with images of newness.
Tom Milnes & Sabine Okami's 'Kioku' sits between Japan and London, past and present, between family history and the memories of an area, between the handmade and the mass-produced – a terrible failed monument to globalization and natural entropy, disaster, forgetting.
Icelandic nature is prominent in Eliasson's work, and his artistic relationship with it often involves collection or documentation that is scientific in tone. The country becomes a sensory laboratory where ideas can be developed and evolved into art, as evidenced in the multiple photographic series that would seem to witness a near compulsive need for collecting.
TAKA ISHII GALLERY, Tokyo presents NOBUYOSHI ARAKI - EroReal
7 June - 27 July 2013
Magazine pin-ups aren't interesting, are they? Especially now that they're shot digitally, they lack eroticism. They're doing it wrong. That's why I had to come in. It's not about an ambiance or concept; it's about being real. Not realism, but real?ero-real. I have to say it straight. It's not about nudity; clothed subjects can be erotic.
The approach, London presents JACK LAVENDER - Dreams Chunky
6 June - 28 July 2013
Jack Lavender draws from a world of mass-produced objects, transforming their singular banality through their composition within such structures as grids and metal armatures. Sitting between the disciplines of painting, sculpture and collage, Lavender brings different elements together to create a new entity.