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Special Exhibition

now
open

special exhibitiongallery 1f

2020.07.04 - 08.27

Galleries Without Artworks

Overview

We are living through a time of catastrophe, the likes of which we have never experienced.

Not one area of society is untouched by the crisis, and museums around the world are re-examining activities such as exhibitions and asking fundamental questions about what museums ought to be. Various challenges are interfering with preparations for scheduled exhibitions, including difficulties with borrowing works from overseas, and it is impossible to predict what the future may hold.

Under these circumstances, we have decided to address the public frankly and directly with a project titled “Galleries Without Artworks.”

The Setagaya Art Museum is located in Kinuta Park, a place of delightful scenery that changes with the seasons. In this park the cherry blossoms bloom in spring, large shade trees offer respite from the heat of summer, you can feast your eyes on the glorious colors of autumn foliage, and in winter it is sometimes transformed into a snowy wonderland.

Designed by architect Shozo Uchii (1933-2002), the Setagaya Art Museum opened in 1986. Uchii’s museum design was based on three key concepts: “The museum as a lived-in space,” “The museum as an open system,” and “The museum as part of a park.”

With these concepts shaping its design, the Setagaya Art Museum has a large number of windows, and it is not only the main entrance that welcomes visitors. The building is a highly open structure that seeks to merge with the surrounding environment. This museum is a facility that not only collects, stores, and exhibits art, but also places emphasis on functionally integrating diverse genres including music, theater, and other performing arts.

Since the Setagaya Art Museum first opened we have staged a wide range of programs such as music concerts and dance performances, and as part of Galleries Without Artworks, we introduce some of our activities thus far in a section titled “Architecture, Nature, and Performance.”

We hope visitors will enjoy the lush greenery of Kinuta Park through the windows and, if possible, form images in their hearts and minds of at least one of the many exhibitions they may have viewed here in the past.


Special Project: “Architecture, Nature, and Performance”

In the more than 30 years since we first opened, the museum has organized a large number of music, dance, and other performing arts events, taking advantage of our unique architectural space and the surrounding natural environment, and at times holding performances in conjunction with art exhibitions on view. We have selected approximately 40 of the nearly 400 performances that have taken place here, and are pleased to present them in the form of photographic slideshows and films documenting the events, as well as leaflets and other archival materials.

Information

Dates:
Saturday, July 4 - Thursday, August 27, 2020
Closed:
Mondays except Augusut 10, and Tuseday, August 11.
Hours:
10:00AM - 6:00PM
Place:
1st floor galleries
Organized by:
Setagaya Art Museum (Setagaya Arts Foundation)

●Request to Visitors《Read More》

Admission

Free

Overview

We are living through a time of catastrophe, the likes of which we have never experienced.

Not one area of society is untouched by the crisis, and museums around the world are re-examining activities such as exhibitions and asking fundamental questions about what museums ought to be. Various challenges are interfering with preparations for scheduled exhibitions, including difficulties with borrowing works from overseas, and it is impossible to predict what the future may hold.

Under these circumstances, we have decided to address the public frankly and directly with a project titled “Galleries Without Artworks.”

The Setagaya Art Museum is located in Kinuta Park, a place of delightful scenery that changes with the seasons. In this park the cherry blossoms bloom in spring, large shade trees offer respite from the heat of summer, you can feast your eyes on the glorious colors of autumn foliage, and in winter it is sometimes transformed into a snowy wonderland.

Designed by architect Shozo Uchii (1933-2002), the Setagaya Art Museum opened in 1986. Uchii’s museum design was based on three key concepts: “The museum as a lived-in space,” “The museum as an open system,” and “The museum as part of a park.”

With these concepts shaping its design, the Setagaya Art Museum has a large number of windows, and it is not only the main entrance that welcomes visitors. The building is a highly open structure that seeks to merge with the surrounding environment. This museum is a facility that not only collects, stores, and exhibits art, but also places emphasis on functionally integrating diverse genres including music, theater, and other performing arts.

Since the Setagaya Art Museum first opened we have staged a wide range of programs such as music concerts and dance performances, and as part of Galleries Without Artworks, we introduce some of our activities thus far in a section titled “Architecture, Nature, and Performance.”

We hope visitors will enjoy the lush greenery of Kinuta Park through the windows and, if possible, form images in their hearts and minds of at least one of the many exhibitions they may have viewed here in the past.


Special Project: “Architecture, Nature, and Performance”

In the more than 30 years since we first opened, the museum has organized a large number of music, dance, and other performing arts events, taking advantage of our unique architectural space and the surrounding natural environment, and at times holding performances in conjunction with art exhibitions on view. We have selected approximately 40 of the nearly 400 performances that have taken place here, and are pleased to present them in the form of photographic slideshows and films documenting the events, as well as leaflets and other archival materials.

“Galleries Without Artworks” Closing Project
Performance: “To Open the Museum Tomorrow”



Outline

For people who gather there, a museum is a place where they see themselves in the “mirrors” of the artworks and let their imaginations take flight, and it is these people that breathe life into the museum.

In Galleries Without Artworks at the Setagaya Art Museum, there are no works to act as “mirrors,” only windows and the ever-changing light and greenery outside them. In the rear of the gallery, there are also items documenting exhibitions and performances held over the last 30-plus years. The absence of works, the powerful use of “borrowed scenery” (as in the East Asian garden tradition), the collection of images of past activities: these come together to reveal, in an unexpected way, the spatial and temporal experiences that have unfolded here, and how not only visual artists but also practitioners of various disciplines such as music, dance, and theater have supported this museum over the years.

Before long, the artworks will return to the galleries. However, in order to commit to memory what was revealed by the works’ absence and our vital connections with the people who support us, we have organized a performance emerging from the experience of enjoying this space and time itself, to be staged on the last day of Galleries Without Artworks.

We asked Yukio Suzuki (director of Yukio Suzuki Projects), a dancer who has appeared in several past events featuring interactive dialogue with the museum through dance, to choreograph and compose a performance featuring sequences of simple movements. For this project, artists who have been involved in past performance programs were invited to gather here and join museum staff in enjoying and expressing the space and time of the Setagaya Art Museum, so as “to open the museum tomorrow.”

Because of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, we are unable to welcome members of the general public to this creative event. This is extremely unfortunate. However, some of the “movements for enjoying the space and time of the Setagaya Art Museum itself” will be released to the public in advance in the form of short videos so that anyone can try them. In addition, the performance will be documented, including on film, which will be edited and publicly released at a later date.

We will be attempting an event in a form unprecedented for this museum, and we look forward to sharing the project with as many people as possible as we prepare “to open the museum tomorrow.”


Basic Information

Performance: “To Open the Museum Tomorrow”

Choreography, composition, main performer: Yukio Suzuki
Other participants: Yukio Suzuki Projects (Nao Ashimine, Haruka Akagi, Sato Yamada, Hazuki Kotani, Akane Kuri, Akane Abe), Artists who have been involved in the museum’s past performance programs (Taro Bove, Akira Kashiwagi, Hiroshi Obiki, Wataru Okuma, Miwazo Kogure et al. information will be updated from time to time), museum staff
Photography: Teppei Hori
Videography: Kyoshi Sugita

Filming date: Thu., August 27, 2020 after museum closing time (not open to the public)
Filming location: Setagaya Art Museum first-floor gallery and elsewhere
Scheduled release (photo): September 2020 via Instagram
Scheduled release (video): October 17 on the Setagaya Art Museum YouTube channel

*Some movements for “enjoying the space and time of the museum,” which are part of the choreography for this project, will be recorded and released via Instagram in the latter half of August.


Artist’s Comment

In a box called an art museum, objects called art are displayed,
and these objects guide visitors on a journey of thought and imagination,
flying ever further, inside each of their minds, or beyond the confines of their minds.
How far can we fly, or how far can art make us fly?
On and on we travel, while connecting with the imaginations of those
who happen to be sharing the same space.

As we engage with objects known as art, this is also when we reflect on our inner selves.
That is what a museum is to me.
A place where we can quietly face ourselves.
A place where we can quietly grow.
A place where we can quietly create ourselves.

If each of our bodies can become pure imagination,
overlapping with the imaginations of others who share this space,
and if it is possible to create something in this empty place,
I believe that is something of which only dance is capable.

Simple movements connect in sequence,
movement becomes time,
the body becomes landscape,
all the people and objects in this space become dance, become a work of art,
and the “gallery without artworks” is transformed for one night only
into “artwork that the gallery creates.”

――Yukio Suzuki


Artist Profile

Yukio Suzuki

Mr. Suzuki is a choreographer, dancer, and director of Yukio Suzuki Projects. He has been active in more than 40 cities around the world, entrancing many spectators with his physique and physical expressions that are supple, delicate, yet so powerful they seem to overflow from the spaces containing them. In 2008 he won the Next-Generation Choreographer Award (Grand Prize) at the Toyota Choreography Awards, and in 2012 he was one of 10 finalists in the Danse Élargie competition at the Théâtre de la Ville in Paris, France. He has previously appeared at the Setagaya Art Museum in INSIDE/OUT: Time in Architecture, Moments in Dance (2009), Trance/Entrance vol. 15: in/vísible (2017), and Tanto quanto dura il soffio: per Bruno Munari (2018).
Website