Hagiso Gallery, Tokyo | 18 August – 6 September 2015
“ To give a name is always like any birth (certificate), to sublimate a singularity and to inform against it, to hand it over to the police” Jacques Derrida
Dominique Baron-Bonarjee and Ryo Shimizu’s joint exhibition considers the act of naming in creating the parameters of each person’s understanding of the world and its systems of language, identity, gender, nationality.
The artists developed ideas independently, and in different locations, their work converges in this exhibition. Both take an approach that mixes facts and fictions, leaving a zone of ‘undecidability’ where a series of encounters, meetings and misunderstandings take place in a game of ‘Is this me or is this you?’
Still from HD film
The exhibition is installation-based containing various aspects of the development of two films made by each artist. It also comprises drawings, writings and objects both found and created which were part of their individual practice and the work that evolved from a two week collaborative studio process.
Ryo showed a film based on a workshop he organised in Taiwan. Because of the different nuances of meaning of the kanji (Chinese ideograms). Participants had to guess the identity of the person, based on the kanji of Ryo’s name and in this way, they developed an imaginary female identity as well as their own narratives for who this person might be.
For the performance ‘My name is Ryo Shimizu’ Dominique created a series of headlines quoted from the conversations in Ryo’s video piece. By manipulating the font, spacing and context, the texts seemed to describe her.
For the closing performance she distributed these texts to the audience, creating a dimension of ‘divination’ around the texts.
Camera and post-production: Keren Chernizon
Performers: Dominique Baron-Bonarjee, Marina Epp
Drone sounds: Miquel Parera
With the kind support of the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation and the Institut Français, Tokyo