Only Connect opens new show DR/OP in Onomichi, Hiroshima

ONLY CONNECT, the understated curatorial powerhouse based in Onomichi, Japan (whose healthily unruly inaugural show Dogs in a Room Glass featured last year) has just opened another show.

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The exhibit is a gestalt collection of the work of 23 different artists such as Yutaka Inagawa, Christina Mitrentse,
Akira Yasuda, Chiew Sien Kuan, James Brooks, Suzanne Caines, Aoife Collins, Mayako Hakusui and Tomohito Hiratsuka(including works from the curatorial body as well as one posthumous piece, from American conceptual and sculptural artist David Ireland; the rest of the artists hail from Japan, Greece, Italy, Singapore and the UK). The curatorial mantra of the show, iterated on its press materials (which, notably, were designed by Japan’s ingenious Studio Niji) is:

We place drawings at a level too close to the floor.
Like pitching a tent on the borderland,
each of us draws a line below our comfort zone.

The poetic statement’s final line may be said to describe DR/OP’s represented amalgam of mediums: digital montage, found object installations, inked-over newsprint, sound and video, mixed-media drawings and expressionistic paintings, each engaged in an overall experiential and thought-necessitating setting. However, despite the diversity of mediums there’s the comforting consistency of the single, conceptual display method: nearness to the floor.

The works are presented on table-like platforms put together using recycled materials collected from derelict houses around the Higashitsuchido-cho area in Hiroshima. The tables, exactly 13 centimetres above ground level, set the stage for viewers to meet and deliberate upon the works. The design of the exhibit prompts the viewer to get near the ground, to experience the works in unique yet intentional proximities.

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Extending beyond the interplay with the art pieces themselves (and the way in which they’re presented), the experiential nature of DR/OP succeeds in its recording of gallery-goers’ conversations. Mini microphones are attached on some of the 13-centimetre tables, capturing spoken exchanges and recycling them via broadcast to the other two levels of the gallery space. Sounds and conversations that are recorded are overlapped and re-broadcast throughout the exhibition period, forfeiting any threat of conversations’ one-dimensionality via the looping, inter-mixing polyrhythm.

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Like the audio aspect of the show, DR/OP’s stationary exhibit inherently caters to exchange: images plays with space (or the lack thereof, in bringing things low down) in perpetuity, throughout the gallery. DR/OP produces a cooperative viewing of disparate artistries, curated to spur engagement of thought, conversation, and movement.

by Emily Rae Pellerin

DR/OP is open until May 22 at Komyoji-kaikan gallery space, Hiroshima, Japan.

 

You can find more information on the show and on planning your visit at the gallery’s web site or ONLY CONNECT’s public page.

DR/OP installation, furniture, and fixtures by Only Connect

Images courtesy of Only Connect