Thinking 21st century art in the world from Niigata
Echigo-Tsumari Art Field - Official Web Magazine

Feature / Director's Column

This and that about ETAT 2022 ⑥(Written on 20 June)

Kitagawa Fram (Editor-in-chef of “Art from the Land” / General Director, ETAT)

Through this series of column, Kitagawa Fram, General Director of the festival shares "this and that about ETAT" which runs from 29 April for 145 days.

Text by Kitagawa Fram

24 June 2022

As a part of the special guided memorial tour remembering Jimmie Durham, an artist the descendant of the Cherokee, I took the group to the site he chose for his work, at the edge of Daigonji Kogen. The mist over the mountains after the rain slowly cleared and it turned out to be a beautiful day. The site keeps the implication of someone had camped there. The door locked by a white key with white pipes invites you to imagine there exists an important world behind the earth’s surface. The work reminds us of the proof of life of people with dignity.

Jimmie Durham’s work (2000) photo by ANZAÏ

Title of the work by Jimmie Durham (symbol as shown in the picture)

Close to Durham’s work is “The Garden of Forking Paths” (2000) by Kendell Geers from South Africa. This cage-look-like structure looked good with ivy growing around, for the first time in more than a decade. “The Eternal” (2000), the steel gate that stands tall and beautiful on the field by Maida Masafumi who passed away, invites you to look at a beech tree behind the structure. “With the Ground-Landscape of Memory” (2000) by Uematsu Keiji proudly lie down like memories from ancient times on the slope covered with Japanese azalea. I hope you will make time to visit Daigonji Kogen, a dream-like site with these works showing one aspect of Echigo-Tsumari.

“The Eternal” by Maita Masafumi (2000) Photo by ANZAÏ

If you take R405, Tsunan is not far away. You may like to head to Tsunan station or visit Mountain Park where lots of artworks are installed. Alternatively, you can extend your legs to Katakuri House where “Tsumari Sugoroku” (2021) by Hara Yu and Hara Rintaro is presented or to “Ryugakubo waste aquarium” (2022) by Kaiji Seiya as you enjoy the dynamic landscape spreading along the border between Niigata and Nagano. (If you plan to visit ETAT2022 this Saturday or Sunday (as this text is written on 20 June 2022), make sure to include a performance, “Vibrating Sky” by 86B210 in your itinerary. It will be a golden plan if you can take time and enjoy the beautiful mountain landscape with great artwork and performances.

“Ryugakubo waste aquarium” by Kaji Seiya (2022) Photo by Kioku Keizo

Coincidentally, a memorial event for Jimmie Durham was held at KAZimKUBA in Kassel, Germany today. Participants had sparkling wine, walked to the park where the apple trees were planted in 1992 during documenta 13 and read their favourite poems by Durham under the replanted apple tree.

The original apple trees were planted by Durham and Christov-Bakargiev for documenta 13 commemorating Korbinian Aigner (1885-1966), a Bavarian priest who grew apple trees in the Dachau concentration camp. Durham also drew labels for apple juice bottles.

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