Site-specific immersive installation

Location: Sakagura Gallery, Aso-city, Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan
Dimension: 3.8 x 12.5 x 10.5 M [installation]
                    HD, 19:47 [video]
Material: cedar-chips, tables, metal-mesh, polyethylene, Tokyo Blue film gel, sound
Art Residency: International Artist-in-Residence Programme in Aso

On entering Sakagura Galley I immediately noticed a vast room filled with loads of fragile metal-meshed tables. They were leaning towards each other as if afraid to stay without some kind of ephemeral and more vague than themselves support.

Instantly I had a feeling as if I had seen those tables being embraced in a deep blue light. Cedar chips, I were planning to dispense over the base of 'SYU IRO', formed a dense net of mountains on both levels making mesh partially visible while cedar chips themselves superimposed over each other as if on translucent layers of a tracing paper.

From the first time of my visit to Japan a strong imprint was embossed inside my memory – a cicada sound. Starting to record it, I ended up with a collection of various sounds reflecting on my life events during the second visit. These deliberately unmodified sounds became an extra, new to me at that time, dimension of site-specific art work. I mean, new in a way that the sound was extracted not from the materials of the installation [although cedar chips were perfectly performing this function when being touched, and they also were responsible for the smell] but rather was recorded, processed and coming out of the speakers into the space.

I wanted sound to stay clear and crisp without generating any confusions or false associations – if it was cicada you heard cicada, not a complicated mixture of noises easily taken for instrumental composition or something alike. By staying in their original simplicity, howbeit edited and mixed up in-between each other, they would have stayed in a contrast to an ambiguous complexity of the whole environment, I thought.

Moreover, no one would be able to listen to the whole 'sound track' as it was composed over 40-50 minutes,– thus, by jumping into the space and out everyone ended up with totally different experience. Depending what pat of my Japanese life they came across with. I believe, in this particular case, sound was a crucial element influencing overall understanding of the work.

Performances came later. Naturally travelling from Art-Plex they twisted themselves into a totally different shape, however keeping some connection with the original 'cedar chips performance'. Somewhere on a level of traces. Because initially performance was a film. Titled 'The cReature', it constituted an integrated part of the nine-room installation 'That Side Where Real Is'. 'The cReature' was in a room with enormous amount of dry lives immersed in red light – only one TV out of three was active. I thought about them as a cemetery of broken TV-s or something.

Frankly speaking, borders between film and performance are very blurred to me. Might be it is a part of my natural inclination to break up through everything working on the edge where no borders exit at all – anything is possible whatever crazy or unrealistic mix it can be. Film organically becomes a performance and performance becomes a film – in both of those states of consciousness truth is not a matter to be concerned with.

Consequently, 'The End of The Beginning or The Beginning of The End' as a film is an independent artwork on its own right. In spite of being created on the basis of the installation, it neither documents the installation nor tells the story behind it. In effect, performance in the film is a proper film acting as a life action simulation to emphasise the power of technology in generating a reality that is more real than the actual reality itself.

When completed ['The End of The Beginning or The Beginning of The End' installation], it became clear to me that the whole atmosphere referred to a hospital ward, or a morgue cell, or remains after the war and natural catastrophe altogether.

I was standing there looking at everything and thinking some type of dark thoughts without any particular reason. Just being influenced by what I was experiencing. It was the end of something. And the most disastrous that this something might not have started yet. 

The time coincided with the end of my residency period. I was exhausted but happy. Needed to come up with a title in the morning. I teared a piece from a cardboard and scratched something down. When home I read a cardboard and it kind of made sense.

To check whether it was used before I went online. Churchill immediately came out saying this phrase concerning the Second Battle of El Alamein. It was just perfect.