July 9th, 2018

Ei Arakawa at Kunstverein Düsseldorf

Ei Arakawa at Kunstverein Dusseldorf

Artist: Ei Arakawa

Venue: Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf

Exhibition Title: Performance People

Date: May 12 – August 5, 2018

Curated by: Eva Birkenstock

Note: A publication associated with the exhibition is available for download here.

Click here to view slideshow

Ei Arakawa at Kunstverein Dusseldorf

Ei Arakawa at Kunstverein Dusseldorf

Ei Arakawa at Kunstverein Dusseldorf

Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.


Images courtesy of Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf. Photos by Katja Illner.

Press Release:

Kunstverein für die Rheinlande and Westfalen, Düsseldorf, proudly presents the first institutional solo exhibition of Japanese-born, New York-based artist Ei Arakawa. Since more than a decade, Arakawa produces and stages performances, hybrid scenarios, and erratic installations through interactions with various people and types of objects; artists, musicians, writers, and art historians as well as paintings and sculptural settings. Drawing on artistic strategies of postwar avant-gardes such as the Japanese Gutai group, Fluxus around the world, as well as New York performance art from the 70s through to the 90s, it is the repetition of art histories, the commodification of experience, the desire for authenticity, and the false intimacy of networks which he subverts in his works.

Following his exploration of painting’s performative potential in Harsh Citation, Harsh Pastoral, Harsh Münster for Skulptur Projekte Münster 2017, Arakawa in Performance People revisits a seminal yet personal selection of performance art in order to re-evaluate the medium’s agency in our event- and influencer-driven society. He proposes an alternative reading of performance art, where its time-specificity is activated through an astrological analysis of the specific hour and place of “birth” of each work provided by American artist Sarah Chow. Thus in his new multimedia LED installation for the Kunstverein, performances like 7360 Sukiyaki by Tony Conrad (1973), May I Help You? by Andrea Fraser (1991) or Lee Lozano’s 1971 Untitled (Boycott Women) are being addressed as “persons” with their own psychological tendencies, karmic purpose, and inter-subjective will power. How do performances think and feel? How do they want to relate with you? How do they manifest their medium-specific dreams?

The rhythm of the exhibition corresponds with the Mercury transits during the months of May, June, July. Produced in collaboration with Sarah Chow and German composer Christian Naujoks, visitors will encounter radio shows, essays, music, and fictional interviews throughout the Summer. Please check the website of the Kunstverein for updates.


Thursday, June 28th, 7 pm
A historian’s anxiety, an astrologer’s confidence, an artist’s mettle – Lecture
with Reiko Tomii (art historian, New York)

Sunday, August 5th, 3 pm
Performance People – Artist talk with Ei Arakawa

Sunday, August 5th, 4 pm
Your Favorite Sound Aspects Live! – Concert by Christian Naujoks

Thursdays, 5 pm
Performance People – Guided tours with the team of the Kunstverein

Link: Ei Arakawa at Kunstverein Düsseldorf

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