Tate St Ives
01 December, 2002
Real Life
Tate St Ives
26 Oct - 26 Jan 2003
In Tate St Ives, new museum on the beach side, I saw the exhibition about Video Art. I saw the masterpiece “The reflecting Pool” by Bill Viola. I studied what Video Art is in this work when I was in an Art University. The other works, shown in this exhibition, were by Mark Wallinger, Steve McQueen, Susan Hiller, Shirin Neshat, Sam Taylor Wood and Tracy Emin.
This day was sunny day. But it was raining at times. St Ives is affected by British weather after all. I saw some surfers between big waves.
On the way back we walked in strong wind in the evening. We must walk in a hurry because we must get on a bus, which goes once an hour. But we lost the way to go to the bus stop in the middle of the town. We didn’t have a map. We didn’t know why we kept on coming back to the same place. I thought that the town might be labyrinth. The grey sea was calling me “Come on” with opening big mouth. I was really frightened.
I asked an old man, who was the first person we met in that area and looks like Gaston Bachelard, the way. But his speaking made us confused. Eventually we found the way and went up a long steep hill in full speed. I thought that I mustn’t stop and look back or we can not arrive at the top of hill. I heard only the sound of my breath. I learnt that everybody can achieve if you want to do it strongly. Nevertheless, we missed the bus. We waited for the next for one hour in the dark rainy countryside . But we enjoyed this funny horrible experience. Thanks to my friend.


04 December, 2002
Michael Cuesta
L.I.E. (2001) <http://www.lot47.com/lie/>
The other Cinema
The film is about a 15 year old boy who was left by people he loved or be loved. The location is in Long Island. Paul Franklin Dano, plays the main character Howie Blitzer, and has the air of vulnerability and coquetry peculiar to an adolescent indeed. And a bad friend of his, Gary Terrio (Billy Kay) is a fascinating guy with a dangerous beauty. And Brian Cox, acted an old gay man very convincingly. The film is not special, but all of the cast make a good impression.


07 December, 2002
Richard Kelly
Donnie Darko (2001)
Odeon Camden Town
I read a review on the Time Out. It seems like “It’s like the “Catcher in the rye” re-written by P K Dick”. The Sci-Fi scene was made by no great CG. But I like this point. Can I say a hand-made Sci-fi? It’s completely different from Hollywood style.
The main character Donnie Darko complains to a teacher “The life is not simple and complexity. I cannot put the complexity of this emotion on this line which connects only Fear and Love.” in a high school’s class. This sounds like “Catcher in the rye”. And the character of his girlfriend is beautiful, intelligent, passionate and a stranger (a transfer student). She is radiant.
But if you write P K Dick about this film, it’s not enough. The most Dick-like episode, the glass which stores all memories of a lifetime, is too short to say Dick-like.
In the last scene, Donnie’s mother is standing beside a tree while smoking after her son died. She is not crying. But she is really shocked but tries to calm down. A camera shoot her away from her family. The director didn’t depict her as a stereotyped mother. I added‡(She reads a Stephens King’s book in the beginning scene.) She notices the girlfriend is on the other side of the road and waves her hand despite the fact they don’t know each other. I think the director’s idea about Women (or Humans) appears in such a scene.
The 80s music strongly helped to make this picture’s atmosphere.


07 December, 2002
Inka Essenhigh
Victoria Miro Gallery
29 Oct - 07 Dec

It reminded me a lot of Japanese great manga artists, for example Katsuhiro Otomo, Suehiro Maruo and so on. Their works are strictly manga, not seen as “art” in the classical sense despite their beauty, dynamism and concept. That is good. I always think that Art, which makes references to subculture, can never win against the intensity of the power of subculture itself. (Ukiyoe is also subculture.) But some artists use that weakness of the Arts to make the Art.
Meanwhile, Inka Essenhigh leaves the stain of the brush on a part of the canvas. This is also the way to be the Arts. And these paintings hang on the white big wall around with a blank. This is also the way to be the Arts by the Gallery.


07 December, 2002
Daido Moriyama
Victoria Miro Gallery
03 Dec- 04 Jan 2003

He made a photo collage using his polaroids, taken in his room with his famous works. Those photos were arranged in a square in orderly lines. I guess he wanted to make something like this work by the others, especially by his hair. But he seems merely to have made an art work by photography and shows that he is a master. It’s not exciting. I’m not sure if it was his aim.
Many Japanese young people came to the Gallery.



07 December, 2002
Jake & Dinos Chapman
Works from the Chapman Family Collection
White Cube
31 Oct - 15 Dec

Jake and Dinos Chapman’s new work, which created news on the London arts scene, is exhibited at the main room of the Gallery, where Daido Moriyama’s exhibition is also held. This day was the last day of the exhibition. Despite the fact that it was a Saturday evening many people were there. What are the Chapmans up to this time round?
There was heavy with smell of exotic incense in the dark room and displayed magical African primitive masks and statues. They claim that these were the Chapman Family Collection, on each pedestal. We might be impressed with these mysterious works, if we didn’t notice the motive inherent in these works. In fact some visitors admired it and one visitor sketched a statue seriously, as if she was in the British Museum.
Don’t sketch it, please. We should laugh at these African demonic Ronald, Grimace and Hamburger of McDonald. I couldn’t understand what she thought.
Anyway we must say Chapmans’ plot was fairly successful.
We think about not only American Globalization but also the strength of the style itself of the Primitive Native Arts. It might mean we are still in admiration or obsession of exoticism. And they showed the right Art Code in which we are.



08 December, 2002
Shunji Iwai
All about Lily Chou Chou (2001)<http://www.lily-chou-chou.com/>
Ritzy Cinema
This vulnerable and innocence are completely actual Japan. I can understand why Shunji Iwai wanted (must) to make a film on this theme. The bullying in school is one of the awful problems in Japan. The adolescent years children are living in this fear. (And this is a mirror of the adult’s society.) All are victims as well as assailants. It’s the survival skill for them to remain silent. Because if s/he does something outstanding, s/he might be bullied. And s/he stands on the side of the bully today. However s/he might be bullied tomorrow without reason. It’s like Hell. In general, it’s said that children are both naive and cruel. I think that nowadays Japanese children are not only that. They cannot stop corruption emerging themselves. But they are keeping innocent faces.
I was very impressed. It transported me back to Japan. It was difficult to make my mind come back to London. (The Ritzy Cinema is in Brixton. Here deep in London.) If I have seen this film in Tokyo I could have felt differently.
Incidentally if he has makes films less saccharine I could like his work more. It’s true that this taste is loved by Asian young people.
And I don’t think that Okinawa scene was suitable. It seems like there is too much exotic illusion.
Any way he is very good at find good position between artistic purpose and marketing.
There again, the casting was perfect.


10 December, 2002
Ken Loach
Sweet Sixteen
Prince Charles


Douglas Gordon
13 December, 2002
Douglas Gordon
what have I done
Hayward Gallery
01 Nov- 05 Jan

Hayward Gallery held a 24 hours screening of “24 Hour Psycho” on this day. I took an interview from BBC Radio while I saw the film work. They’ve gathered the voice from over 20 people who were there. An interviewer asked our opinion of “24 Hours Psycho” and not for the exhibition. I am really impressed with the high level of interest that the public in this country about Contemporary Arts.
Incidentally, I saw the TV program of Turner Prize’s ceremony on the Channel 4 on the 8th December. C4 is a sponsor of this prize. But it was a big surprise to see this one hour program of the Contemporary Art scene on the TV, and and from 8pm on Sunday night at that. What a poor Japanese Contemporary Art scene! The presenter of this year was Daniel Libeskind. And the winner was the most predictable person.
The exhibition was perfectly cool. The concept was clear and the way it was exhibited was clear and the exhibition design was sophisticated. Some big (about 300 inch?) rear screens were hung and the films projected from both sides in the dark gallery. He showed both sides of the Divine and Devil in his cinematic installations and photo works. I am interested in the dark tricky room. There are some black lights there, it make us feel the shape of the room is huge square. But if we touched the wall while we, we could recognize the room wall has zigzags drawn on it and the room is a lot narrower than imagined.Å@In the background the artist’s biography is narrated over the speakers.
Even though he is narcissistic, never before had I seen such a stylish exhibition.


14 December, 2002
Smith/Stewart
A Black Thread
Chisenhale Gallery
06 Nov- 15 Dec



City Hall

15 December, 2002
Fosters and Partners
City Hall
London’s Living Room at the 9th floor was opened to the public on this week. We could see the panorama view of London there. But it was raining all day.
This transparent egg-shaped building is showy in the south of the Thames. I didn’t imagine this building is the City Hall at first. I went down a spiral stairway from the 9th floor to the ground floor. That void space is fantastic. The stairway faces the geometric structured glassed walls. And I was interested in what a public office would be like. I could see it from the stairway. That was small and similar to a Japanese office. It was funny that there are small fans on each desk.
The inside of building is also beautiful. But as I saw the details, I recognized it’s shabby material. But this is an ecological office. I read that this sphere has 25per cent less surface area than a cube of the same volume, there would be less heat loss from the building in cold weather and less heat gain on sunny days (I think it means only during short summer) on the brochure. What high-tech! This building uses only about a quarter of the energy of a standard office building, and recycled materials are used in many fittings and furnishings. And then I understood why I felt the way I did about the quality of the materials used.




Guy Bar Amotz
15 December, 2002
Guy Bar Amotz
Mocheileros
One in the other
8 Nov- 15 Dec

His works are backpacker styled speakers. The shape of one is like a big shell. The bass guitarist would be a snail. These electric sound equipments have tone of handmade and custom-made. A video in which a girl trio Gertrude were wearing his speakers while performing was played showed in the gallery. They were performing ecstatically at a messy private room like a loft. I like this indie air. He seems to be inspired by the multi-speaker sound systems used by reggae DJs.


18 December, 2002
Aki Onda
Hatton Wall


‘11’09”01’ September 11
19 December, 2002
Samira Makhmalbaf, Claude Lelouch, Youssef Chahine, Danis Tanovic, Idrissa Ouedraogo, Ken Loach, Alejandro González Iñápritu, Amos Gitaï, Mira Nair, Sean Penn, Shohei Imamura
‘11’09”01’ September 11<http://www.artificial-eye.com/110901/main.html>
Renoir
The film consisted of 11 films by 11 directors, each from a different culture and country.
I went to a preview screening, which included Ken Loach’s Q&A after the screening.
I think that this film anthology has both good films and not so good ones. I was deeply moved by Ken Loach, Danis Tanovic and Amos Gitai. they all focused on different September 11 than in NY. Loach filmed an exile from Chile. He told that the US-sponsored overthrow of democracy in Chili was launched on September 11 in 1973. Tanovic filmed refugee women who survived from the genocide in Srebrenica. They demonstrate on the 11th of every month. They demonstrate on the street on this September 11 in 2001 too. Gitai filmed a street bombing in Jerusalem on September 11 in 2001. I think this film doesn’t clear his attitude for the Palestine conflict. He was born in Israel but he is always in between Palestine and Israel. But his way is very dexterous that the point of view is moving from the affair itself to journalism. I remembered the final scene of “Berlin Jerusalem”.
Idrissa Ouedraogo told a story about kids look for Bin Laden in Burkina Faso. In serious tones in these films, I could take a breather thanks to his humour. But it is true that the kids live in the serious situation like HIV.
Shohei Imamura’s film didn’t touch me. He depicted a returned soldier whose mind changed to a snake because of fear of the front line in the World War II, and the attitude his family and village people against him. He had a golden casting and beautiful shoot with an ethnological tone. This is the way of his tells. Although I agree with the idea to show diverse views, I think that the French producer Alain Brigand failed this selection. Because Imamura doesn’t seem to understand how the war changed and what we have to focus on in this era.
Loach said that we have to consider why that happened. This film doesn’t have schedules for general screenings in the countries where a lot of people who should consider it live, including the US and Chile.


Special thanks: Kengo Oshima