Artist: Junichiro Iwase
Commissioned by The 10th Mildura Palimpsest Biennale, Victoria, Australia . Curated by Jonathan Kimberley
Inspired by the Lunette of Mungo, the trees and energy (both meaning 'ki', in Japanese) along the Murray River, and the intercultural histories across geographies, this installation brings together ideas, materials and hybrid subjectivities that traverse time and space.
Eggshells. Fallen branches. These are things in our everyday world that are typically considered disposable, having little use or value. When we regard them as such, they have a tendency to fade and even disappear from our collective consciousness, rendering them invisible. Yet, when we bring these substances in an unlikely and incommensurable way in the form of art, a transformation occurs in our consciousness that renders such things visible by actively inviting reflection, generating insight, and opening up possibilities to imagine Other-wise. This transformative reversal is precisely what this installation attempts to accomplish.
In keeping with the theme of this year's biennale: 'Everywhere all at once... here', the intention of Junichiro's aesthetic intervention is to promote ways in which we can re-imagine everyday, taken-for-granted things that are 'everywhere all at once' and meditate on them 'here' in order to expand our horizon of understanding of who we are, how we engage with objects and Others, and what we are becoming.
This installation is interactive in the sense that it invites self-reflexivity and opens up the possibility for multiple conversations. It calls upon the viewer on the outside looking inside to reflect upon their social location, history, culture and the broader context that inform the interpretation and significance of the artwork. Calling attention to the glass atrium, the audience is asked to conceptualize the glass as a metaphor for the ideological lens through which one views the artwork. How might our tacit assumptions and presuppositions colour the way in which we make sense of the art before us? And how might this interpretation, in turn, reconfigure how we understand ourselves, our relations to objects and Others, and the broader forces that shape our shared existence?
On a much wider and abstract level, this installation seeks to blur the distinction between insider-outsider relations and examine the subtle forms of inclusionary and exclusionary practices that constitute the resonance and dissonance within intercultural spaces. The following Indigenous chant brings us closer to reconciling such tensions and open up the possibility of a shared humanity:
Let us see in this Real
Let us see in this Real
This Life I am living
- Written by Maki Iwase