On Kawara’s Pure Consciousness, or Many Worlds (and) Interpretation—And Then, Silence Arrives – Yuki Okumura
In 1966, On Kawara began his lifetime series of paintings each of whose only subject is the date of the very day he painted it. Since then, the New York-based Japanese artist never presented himself in public until his passing in 2014. Taking this sustained invisibility as the key, Yuki Okumura considers Kawara’s whole practice as a single, five-decade-long performance where the performer’s body was constantly absent and therefore his current state always oscillated between life and death, while his work served as the evidence of his certainly being alive in past dates. In 2012, at National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, Okumura literally translated this structure into a form of performance where different people under his name simultaneously gave almost identical yet essentially different lectures. In response to the conceptual artist’s subsequent departure, which shattered this oscillation, and his little known connection to Istanbul, Okumura presents an updated version of the work.
About Yuki Okumura
Born 1978 in Aomori, Japan, and currently living and working in Brussels and Maastricht, Yuki Okumura is an artist whose practice resembles that of a translator, ghostwriter or mediator, subjectively interpreting, reenacting or sometimes radically rewriting works by other artists that tackle the issue of the artist’s selfhood. While his work is presented in the media of video, text, curatorial and workshop projects, its underlying form is performative action, where his behind the scenes gestures catalyze or manipulate visible narratives.