|Yoshifusa YAMANE: flowing time in our backs|
|Written by Takeshi HIRATA|
|Published: November 26 2009|
When we close a book before reading it through, we put a bookmark attached to the top of the book between the pages. If there is no attached bookmarker, we tuck a reed-shaped paper or a piece of paper or something around us between pages. We do this to “avoid being at a loss” as to where to start reading the book later. Therefore, the act can be called a marker which is recorded “temporarily”. It is almost always difficult for us to read through a book in a day. This is the reason we need to save time actively to read a book. Reading time is composed of a series of interruptions. When we read a book on the train, we stop reading just before getting off the train. At home, we are forced to stop reading due to various kinds of occurrences, such as answering the phone, greeting someone at the front door or falling asleep. Our time for read books flows along with time in the real world even though it is also interrupted by various kinds of matters happening around us in this world. Therefore, we insert a bookmarker between pages to make it possible for us restart smoothly, having time to enjoy reading. We do this act casually while reading a book. It could also be said that a bookmark is something which causes the time flowing within books to stand still.
In the exhibition “Yoshifusa Yamane: flowing time in our backs”, held at the Antiquarian Bookstore, Kosho Ichiro showed us an attempt to visualize time which flows behind our time of reading books. Entering the venue - the secondhand bookshop - there are bookshelves arranged in the shape of the katakana character, ko (コ). A number of bookmarks have been picked out from books on the shelves and have been bundled together on the floor. This makes me feel as if it is an installation of bookmarks spreading on the floor like a fan. We are surprised at the vivid colors of the bookmarks. The variety of of vividly colored bookmarkers put between pages of the books is impressive. For each book, only one bookmark has been inserted. Nonetheless, the colors of bookmarkers are all quite different. Such a diversity of bookmarks proves more than capable of making us imagine the fullness and profundity of the contents of these books.
A bookmarker, tucked between pages of an old book, proves that the book has not been read through yet. Putting a bookmark between the pages before reading all the way through is an act of interrupting and waiting. In other words, a bookmark divides a book into two parts; namely, pages that have been read already and those that haven’t. A bookmark represents a fixed point which separates time into past reading time and that of the future. It’s a moment that has been recorded in a book. These bookmarks sticking out from between the pages of a number of books lining the shelves of the Antiquarian Bookstore are records of time stopped by someone who once held the books in their hands. Nevertheless, it is unusual for us to pay attention to the color of bookmarker kept inside of a book. Through the exhibit, Yamane attempted to bundle definite points between the past and future at a certain space - the Antiquarian Bookstore - by exposing the bookmarks tucked between pages of a number of books to open view.
Sliding on the floor, the bundle of bookmarkers guides us to the next room to show another work. At this moment, you encounter another of Yamane’s works, one in which several plants have been planted on the tops of dozens of piled up books.
This creation reminds me of Yamane’s past work, “stand for the world” (2008). In this work he accumulated books in his acquaintances’ and friends’ rooms as high as they could reach, even up to the ceiling. He then presented these scenes using photographs, videos and texts. In the exhibit this time, Yamane has reduced the number of books accumulated and instead, added an image of plants stretching upward. Also in this creation, Yamane deliberately shows us invisible time flowing behind books and plants. This work does not include such a simple meaning that paper is made from plant resources, i. e., wood. The work was made structuring the time included in the accumulated books and growth period for the plants. We can control the speed of growth of plants. This can also be applied to the pace of reading books, since, just like the growth of plants, reading is done at each reader’s pace while also being interrupted by various kinds of events occurring in the real world. Reading could be an activity which has a similar nature to that of plants, couldn’t it?
Incidentally, Yamane visualizes time, the environment and systems which in fact surround us but are invisible to our eyes through his creations which were made using books, bookmarks and plants. This exhibition inserts “bookmarks” into the space at the Antiquarian Bookshop which deals in used books already read by many people. Each exhibit itself may also represent something like a “bookmark” for us. Like tucking a bookmark between pages to record a place from which we will start reading again, we may put a “bookmark” named “art” into our life in this venue. If this is the case, this exhibition of Yoshifusa Yamane’s will be remembered by viewers as a new page in their lives.
|Last Updated on July 04 2010|
Books and art go together. Nevertheless, probably I have never seen such an elaborative exhibition which is held at an antiquarian bookstore operated actually. In this exhibition, all the installations which were made up of books and plants and every project conducted using bookmarks were created by utilizing books which are sold in the secondhand bookshop actually. Particularly, one installation, in which strings connect bookmarkers and books which are displayed on the bookshelves in the store and are bundled together on the floor, seems to be a garden which is filled with the colorful bookmarks. If you see these brightly-colored bookmarkers which have been hidden inside of the books, you would feel the temptation to look into each of the books by following the bookmarks one by one. Yes, through this exhibition, we do book-gathering (not mushroom-gathering!). The close relationship between the antiquarian bookstore and modern art which is shown in this exhibition is like that between books and bookmarkers. For your information, this exhibition is held only on Saturday and Sunday. The venue is located in an obscure place in a residential area. Therefore, I recommend you to make sure the place on a map before visiting the exhibition. And if you get lost on the way to the venue, I suggest you to put “bookmarks” on streets on your way.
(Translated by Nozomi Nakayama)