Yoshinori Niwa’s artistic interventions into public space are experimental actions and propositions involving impossibility and exchange. Seemingly unproductive physical acts such as ‘Transferring a Puddle from A to B’ carried out between Tokyo and Fukushima Prefecture (2012), and between East and West Berlin (2004), perform the impossibility of social and physical boundaries.
Yoshinori puts himself in unusual situations to undermine the reality of what we see and to expose the emptiness of systems that give the illusion of public-ness. For example when he walked in the opposite direction to the people demonstrating against nuclear power generation after the Great East Japan Earthquake ‘Walk in the Opposite Direction of a Demonstration Parade’ (2011). And ‘Demonstration Proceeds from the Prime Ministers Residence to the Summit of Mount Fuji’ (2012) in which he extended a political act to a site more commonly associated with tourism.
In 2014 his project ‘Selling the right name to a pile of garbage’ (2014) aimed to name a garbage landfill in the suburbs of Manila, Philippines. The work uses documentary images of Yoshinori negotiating with workers and managers whose entrepreneurial principles inspire them to try and turn piles of rubbish into gold. Reflecting on the clashes of rights and the contradiction between the value of money and land ownership, the work addresses the Philippine law preventing garbage incineration.
In recent years Niwa Yoshinori has taken an interest in the history of communism and has developed a new series of works which will be shown at Edel Assanti Gallery, London, in a solo exhibition ‘Historically Historic Historical History of Communism’.
This public talk has been organised by the Department of Art at Goldsmiths, University of London in association with the Arts Catalyst, to take place on the occasion of Yoshinori Niwa's exhibition at Edel Assanti, London.
This talk is part of the Nuclear Culture Project.
Edel Assanti, London
Fri 9 October - Sat 21 November 2015