rainer ganahl

public art: one-ways and others public space

 

nobuyoshi araki

felix stephan huber, philip pocock

rainer ganahl

radashi kawamata

matthew mccaslin

john miller

 

This vague and ambivalent title puts together completely different works by five artists for this curatorial grouping. The title, in a bastardized English, not only reverberates a song title (and a public space) but also remind one of Benjamin's Einbahnstrasse, a beautiful about of urban space and the life it contains. In these artistic projects, different intensities of the human landscape intersect with the vast array of contemporary public space. It is a back-and -forth travelogue of moments of passion., technology, language, fear, nostalgic distancing, and the "insignificance" of everyday life.

 

nobuyoshi araki

In Japan, Araki became a star photographer and mythical character with a huge production of seductive images that foreshadowed often the theatricality of s&m tendencies and that of sexual underworlds. In addition to this, he often includes himself not just as a photographer but also as an active icon in his erotically charged lascivious scenarios. No matter how sexist his image world may be perceived, he documents a very important segment of contemporary Japan, with social and psychological ends that are not known so easily outside Wall Street and White House reports on his country. Nevertheless, actually, there is a virulent (and visible) overlapping of American interests with the areas of Japan from which the selected pictures are taken. Last summer Araki published a book on Okinawa, an island in the south of Japan that is still occupied largely by American forces. Last summer Okinawa received further publicity because of a brutal rape of a Japanese child committed by three American GIs. Japan and Okinawa want the U.S. military presence diminished or out, but the Americans don’t, for strategic reasons. Araki’s book is called Love Labyrinth 1 OKINAWA RETSUJOH (Okinawa Passion) and shows several hundred photographs with parallel “love stories” embedded in a casually and beautifully photographed urban and suburban panorama with its social, economical, and racially mixed profile: i.e., a passionate route.

Translations of text by Manami Fujimori in order of appearance:

“At a U.S. army bar, High Noon.” “Met Mao again.” “Danced with Madam Seasir cheek to cheek.” “Her breasts arose my lust for photographing.” “BooChooChoo.” “Sakurazaka Ryugu Street was still there.” “Got to know Jacqueline.” “A woman from Salon Yuna, who reminded me of a half-blooded Tamanaha Megumi.” “She was 19. Spoke American English.” “First night in Okinawa in 20 years or so.” “Met Noe.”

 

 

 

 

 

felix stephan huber, philip pocock

In the tradition of art-as-travel, Felix Stephan Huber and Philip Pocock pursued a project titled “Arctic Circle” that consists basically of what they called a “double travel.” Last summer they made their way through remote places in Alaska, British Columbia, and the Northwest Territories. On their trip (which they used to stage running and walking performances) they simultaneously sent documents and information “back” to the World Wide Web of the information superhighway. With this, they reconstructed their pathways on the Internet in order to invite surfing users of the global network to monitor and participate. A new and accurate version of travel and “contemporary loneliness” is constructed that reflects not just the lives of people in distant places but also those in centers of activity. It shows how technologies can transform, reverse, enable, and annihilate distances, sociability, and exchange. Public space is turned inside out and outside in: i.e., a technological route.

 

 

 

 

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rainer ganahl

My work is entitled “Basic Russian” and consists of a series of photographs taken in Moscow in February of 1995 while studying the Russian language. On these photographs I layered textual samples taken from a Basic Russian study book. These Russian texts with their English translations make up primary elements in basic conversations. The relationship of the texts to the photographs are as loose as the relationship between the sentences. The studying of “foreign” languages is a complicated, abstract and concrete, lonely and social enterprise. Mastering or ignorance of a local language is of private, social, and somehow political importance, and defines the perimeters of a person’s communicative radius. To know a language or not is a frontier for public and private social space that is painful to experience and painful to transgress: i.e., a linguistic route.

 

 

 

 

 

 

click to see following works:

radashi kawamata

matthew mccaslin

john miller