Special acknowledgement to Maiko Jinushi for contributing in the interview
presented by Art Center Ongoing
August 30 – September 5.2021
A year’s stay in Vienna is half over in a blink. My research is supported with the grant of Japan Cultural Department. The purpose of my stay was to investigate the contemporary art scene in Europe. I have been focusing to visit the off-spaces, contemporary art galleries and museums, as well as interviewing artists and curators directly. During the research, I have recognized two major upward trends in the art scene.
One of them is the stream of typical “contemporary art”. It is made by the context of art that has been built up with history, with delicate sculptures and paintings. When asked to explain the work, the reference about the art history is complicated, and it is hard for those to understand the works who do not know the flow of contemporary art as there is always a certain “form” that makes sense only in the art world.
Another trend is the representation of political issues. “Angry” works with hard to solve problems that European society is currently facing, such as refugees, LGBTQ, post-colonialism, and imperialism. These works tend to highlight the problems that society facing as the upmost important element, as if the “aesthetic” is not necessary to be existed in the works.
What is interesting is that the two trends seem to be “looking down on each other”, and there is a deep disconnection there. Personally, I could not devote myself into either of these trends.
Meanwhile, there is an opportunity to participate in the “Haus”, and when I was wondering what kind of exhibition I would like to show. During the preview of venue, the word “family” came to my mind.
The change arises once an “artist” who possess a mass of ego have a family. A family is a small society where you have to live with the others, while there are constant problems that are difficult to solve, there are also encounters of happiness that can never be obtained by self.
All of the artists involved in this exhibition have been given new lives to their “family” recently.
I personally have had the experience of screwing up my family with my own hands and therefore, for sure I have no intention to deliver a simple message that “family is wonderful” in this exhibition. Yet, the bitter-sweet complicated presence of “family” is full of hints to overcome the disconnection between the trends that I feel here.
I would like to depict such a time and space where “reality” and “imagination”, “present” and “past”, and “society” and “art” intersects, based on the discussion of “family”.
Art Center Ongoing
Director / Nozomu Ogawa