I was invited by the Maison de l'image to be the main exhibit for Mois de la photo, Grenoble with Aletheia Casey. This project, based on the work Odyssey : Reflect, was absolutely the the most challenging and complete experience that I have been able to share. There was a one-hour performance by Anthropologist and Buto dancer Marivi Haro with artist Eleonore Mecoli. Eleonore read an extract of text from "No no boy" by John Okada, recommended by the French translator Anne-Sylvie Hommasel (the book is available at https://www.editionsdusonneur.com/livre/no-no-boy ).
Eleonore opened the performance by walking around the picnic table anti-clockwise, reading the text then Marivi slowly came into the scene. Eleonore's circular movement made a strong sense in the textual context, wherein the audience were moving back in time and deeper into their physical & emotional experience. Marivi's entrance from bright white light to the warm lighting was dramatic. Her costume, movements and being were reincarnated in the spirit of the Japanese-Americans, especially the mother of Ichiro. In the climax of her performance, one sheet of the balcony image with two boys dropped with a big sound, while she rose up with the images of children sewed into her Jiban( the kimono). When the performance ended, Marivi stayed for a long moment on the soil beneth the centrepiece, continuing the link between installation and performance. This was very successful, in that it completed the installation and the work as a whole.
I was moved to see the old Library and the work together. In this exhibition, there were pieces that I have never shown to the public, which was also a challenge. One gets used to presenting works in certain ways. For me this is the most important part to be conscious of - to be site specific and take context into account. With this particular installation and exhibition in Grenoble, I am attempting to show the relationships in the idea: “For the future of the children”. This emphasis, whilst sharing historical photographs and values that have been important to the Japanese-Americans, is upon the future.
There were many collaborators, starting with the people who work in the Maison de l'image - Benjamin Bardinet & Yuliya Ruzhechka and their volunteers (especially Luis), ESAD
(Beaux-art) in Grenoble, Inge Linder-Gaillard, Pascale Riou and their students, ENSAG (School of Architecture) and special thanks to David Wolle , l'association Treto and the students. I would also like to give my deepest gratitude to Claire Nocolas-Fioraso (photographer) and her team for her positive attitude and hard work. I also wish to thank Jean Raffort (Grenoble City Council), Nadir Rajab (responsible for the maintenance of the Ancien Musée de Peinture), Philippe Veyrunes (artist) and Nathalie Muchamaud (artist), Andrew Matthews (architectural planning, organization and assistance), Michel Prilliez of Techniplan (printer), Claude Vaissier (production of original works), Vi ceramiques (transfer on porcelain), Valerie Millet (edition sonneur), Yarli Allison (artist) and Thomas Hardy.
We all hope that after the lockdown, which sadly struck within 48 hours of the opening, the exhibition will be open to visitors once again.
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Miki, an artist, that questions and propose to share experiences with another.