5 March – 4 September 2016
3,000 letters of thanks collected in Denmark and arranged in a giant labyrinth of threads; fifty grandmothers invited to dinner; nine façade paintings about the life worlds of local residents; and one artist settling in to live in a self-built house in front of the museum. On 5 March KØS Museum of art in public spaces officially opens the exhibition In your heart │In your city, which offers Danish audiences a unique opportunity to meet four major Japanese stars on the international art scene – Takafumi Hara, Tatsumi Orimoto, Chiharu Shiota and Yukihiro Taguchi.
Featuring works and performances outdoors – on the façade of KØS and in the square in front of the museum – as well as extensive displays indoors, the exhibition In your heart │In your city will be one of the largest and most ambitious ever staged at KØS.
The four artists, Takafumi Hara, Tatsumi Orimoto, Chiharu Shiota and Yukihiro Taguchi, represent different generations and work with a wide range of media, ranging from performance art and installation art to video art and painting. All four use participatory strategies, involving their audiences directly in the creation of their works.
3,000 messages of gratitude written by Danes
Chiharu Shiota (b. 1972) presents State of Being (Keys) in the square in front of KØS: a spectacular installation that forms a natural extension of her internationally acclaimed contribution to the Venice Biennial in 2015. A lit-up box of reinforced glass has been filled with 5,000 old keys that the artist collected in Venice and has now hung from a wealth of red threads that interweave like the strands of a cobweb.
Inside, the 400m2 exhibition space on the third floor is taken over by Letters of Thanks: a giant installation consisting of a vast web of threads in which 3,000 letters of thanks have been mounted. KØS received these letters in the autumn of 2015 from people who wanted to express their gratitude to a fellow human being, and in this sense the work arose out of the contributions made by each individual letter writer. The museum has received missives from children and adults writing in many languages: Danish, English, Swedish, Icelandic, Japanese, Arabic, Turkish and Dutch. Now, visitors are invited to enter this labyrinthine world, reading the thousands of personal letters on display.
Japanese legend invites grandmothers to dinner
Tatsumi Orimoto (b. 1946) is a legend within the performance art scene. Communication and interaction with audiences are key aspects of his art. Having become acquainted with the Fluxus movement in New York in the 1970s, Orimoto was inspired to create the absurd, poetic and humorous performances and actions that are now typical of his artistic practice. Since the 1990s he has incorporated his mother, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, in his artistic endeavours under the heading Art Mama.
During the exhibition period KØS will host a two-day Orimoto Festival in August, where Tatsumi Orimoto will perform his performances Bread Man and 50 GRANDMAMAs. For 50 GRANDMAMAs he will invite fifty grandmothers to share a meal in the square in front of KØS, reflecting his desire to prompt communication and interaction between visitors. Inside the museum itself, visitors can find photographs and video documentation depicting his Bread Man and Art Mama performances.
Visual treatments of local residents’ stories
In the autumn of 2015 Takafumi Hara (b. 1968) visited Køge to interview eleven local residents and ask them to describe life as it is lived in their city. Those interviews formed the basis of a fairy tale that is now told over the course of nine large-scale paintings placed on the museum façade. Inside the museum itself visitors can find sketches, photographs, and film footage documenting Takafumi Hara’s projects from cities around the world.
Artist moves into self-built house in front of KØS
Yukihiro Taguchi (b. 1980) leaves a definite imprint on the square in front of KØS: during the exhibition period, it will be the site of a self-built house made out of found materials. In June, Yukihiro Taguchi and Italian architect Chiara Ciccarello will spend two weeks living in the house, inviting residents of Køge to take part in their day-to-day activities, communal meals, etc. When the artists are not in residence, visitors can peer inside the house to view a range of animated films created on the basis of materials found in urban settings, as well as a selection of t-shirts that the artist has printed directly from manhole covers throughout the world.
The exhibition is curated by Berlin-based Brazilian curator Tereza de Arruda and director of KØS Christine Buhl Andersen.
Opening celebrations with Japanese street food Saturday 5 March at 15.00
Celebrations featuring Japanese street food and opening speeches by Mr Kyosei Urabe, cultural attaché with the Embassy of Japan, and curator Tereza de Arruda.
See koes.dk for details on events – examples include screenings of documentary films, lectures, artist talks, origami workshops and ikebana classes.
The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue (in Danish and English) with details about each artist and their contributions to the exhibition.
The project has been realised with support from the Bikuben Foundation, the Beckett Foundation, Knud Højgaards Fond, the Municipality of Køge and the Danish Arts Foundation.