A few brief remarks and pictures from the first part of the 'museum', held in the Daikanyama area on March 17.
Our approach in setting these 'Hour Museums' up has always been directed towards the creation of spaces to lounge in, to spend time and chat with friends over a cup of tea or a beer. Rather than replicating another stark white cube (of which there are plenty already in Tokyo) we have always tried to initiate different models for how art can be experienced. In Hillside Terrace Annex A (above) we thus rented twenty tatami mats which formed low seating areas upon which were placed video viewing areas, a cafe and meeting spots. We have found that inviting visitors to remove their shoes is a crucial step in allowing people to relax a little. As an aside, The Mingei (Folk Crafts) Museum here in Tokyo is one of the few museums I know of which also asks visitors to remove their shoes and wear slippers.
One of the central elements of the 17th Museum were a series of four one hour lectures, free and open to the public. We are interested in trying to probe how a museum could also be a place where different kinds of knowledge is shared and dispersed - knowledge which is not just about vision and optics. Hiroshi Minamishima, Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Kumamoto began things off with a lecture about his work with leprosy patients in Japan and the art they make. Independent curator Takashi Azumaya (below) used the white board to maximum effect, illustrating his thesis about museums and audiences and for who curators make exhibitions. He used methods from semiotics and geometry to logically think through this crucial question.
Rounding things off was anthropologist and Creole studies scholar Ryuta Imafuku (below), who began his talk with a slide show and reading performance in the dark.
The various works and contents which emerged on March 17th, was edited and transformed into a Journal which was distributed for free on March 25th at SuperDeluxe......