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Sticky Sloppy Lumpy
Written by Satoshi KOGANEZAWA   
Published: January 14 2010

fig. 2 View from the exhibition "Sticky Sloppy Lumpy" at TURNER GALLERY, photo by Goro Murayama

fig. 1 View from the exhibition "Sticky Sloppy Lumpy" at TURNER GALLERY (the 3rd floor), photo by Goro Murayama

Usually, contents of exhibition - exhibits - are not changed significantly after the opening of an exhibition. Artworks displayed at the beginning of exhibition period are basically shown until its closing day. Exhibits may be sometimes removed from a venue for a variety of reasons, such as damage to the works, broken machines used for displaying the exhibits, an exhibition organizer’s judgement that the artworks are “unsuitable” for being shown in the exhibition, or inappropriate or impossible to be shown at the same place for the entire period.
However, we rarely hear of cases in which exhibits are pulled from a venue during its exhibition term. Needless to say, there is no specific legal rule, but when I visit an exhibition, I always think that all of the exhibits shown in the venue at that time will not be changed the following day. I assume they will remain there not only tomorrow but also throughout the entire exhibition term. This is a kind of a tacit understanding between an exhibition organizer and its viewers. If the contents of exhibits are completely changed during an exhibition term, it would be impossible to consider the exhibition an independent show.

fig. 4 View from the exhibition "Sticky Sloppy Lumpy" at TURNER GALLERY (the1st floor), photo by Goro Murayama on December 9, 2009

fig. 3 View from the exhibition "Sticky Sloppy Lumpy" at TURNER GALLERY (the 3rd floor), photo by Goro Murayama

The “Sticky Sloppy Lumpy” exhibition held in the Turner Gallery was an exhibition showing us different contents on a daily basis. Not always “on a daily basis”, precisely. Works shown in the exhibition were sometimes changed from moment to moment. This kind of scene looked like those observed in exhibition venues before their openings when the exhibits are being brought in. For purposes of accuracy, let me describe the time of my visit to the exhibition. It was approximately from 2:30 p. m. to 3:30 p. m. on December 12, 2009. During that time, a mountain of sawdust was found in the venue, pieces of timber were put on the floor, illegible words had been written using lacquer on the wall, and paintings were just being made on the wall by an exhibitor. He was putting paint on the wall as if he was tracing the form of the image projected on the wall. I could not grasp the meaning of his performance. “Why is he drawing now though the exhibition has already been opened?” “Or, should I consider the performance as part of some event held in this exhibition?”

fig. 6 View from the exhibition "Sticky Sloppy Lumpy" at TURNER GALLERY (the1st floor), photo by Goro Murayama on December 12, 2009

fig. 5 View from the exhibition "Sticky Sloppy Lumpy" at TURNER GALLERY (the1st floor), photo by Goro Murayama on December 12, 2009

Regarding the above-mentioned second question, the answer is “No”. This exhibition was held with the aim of making viewers deem such continuous acts of exhibitors as one “exhibit”. The six exhibitors - Shingo Aruga, Yasufumi Ueno, Eiki Okuda, Ryo Ozeki, Tomoyuki Miyamoto and Goro Murayama - basically made acts in accordance with directions written in cards named “Agent Cards”. A cue was issued from one artist to another as saying, “You must do this in this way”. An artist who had received an instruction could decide if he would accept it. When he had acted following the directions, a mark was put on the card as proof of the performance. Cards were bundled together like a portfolio and displayed in the venue. In the direct mail of the exhibition, there is a phrase saying, “Some exhibits will be made randomly by all exhibitors at the venue from the first day of the exhibition. Their contents will be renewed from day to day”. When I read this text, I imagined that artworks would be made in front of viewers. However, considering the purpose of openly-created works is to show finished creations or the process of their completing by only one artist, such kind of exhibits as shown in this exhibition could not be considered so-called “openly-created” works, since they were created based on acceptance or rejection of various kinds of cues made by many instruction makers and conducted by more than one executioner. As far as there cannot be found any specific goals in exhibits, as well as the fact that the director and performer are not served by the same person, something like “gaps” of varying size would be always generated between contents of directions and those of performances. In addition, the essentially-meaningless connection and disconnection between two acts/things, in which there cannot be found any particular relationships, comes to be justified through the performances continuously conducted by the exhibitors. We, the viewers, saw the exhibits made in the form of acts.

fig. 8 View from the exhibition "Sticky Sloppy Lumpy" at TURNER GALLERY

fig. 7 View from the exhibition "Sticky Sloppy Lumpy" at TURNER GALLERY (the1st floor), photo by Goro Murayama on December 13, 2009

Almost all of the directions seemed to be trivial. They included, “Paste the printed paper, in which this rule has been described, on the wall”, “Throw the bag of paint”, “Write some words on the wall with your eyes covered using an eye mask”, “Make characters impossible to identify, “Clean this dirty part” and so on. The performances were shown on the first floor of Turner Gallery. On the third floor of the venue, creations made by the exhibitors were displayed as can be seen in common group exhibitions [fig. 1] - [fig. 3]. The exhibits shown on the third floor and those displayed on the first floor as an accumulation of “direction” made me realize that the “works” were created by collecting common and trivial things [fig. 4] - [fig. 14]. There was some difference between the exhibits as some creations were not made in the form of so-called “artworks”.. The six artists presented different perspectives on our homogenized “daily” lives and a little affluence generated from the perceptional change. This may be due to my extreme nervousness, but what the exhibitors showed us encouraged me considerably. This was because allowing someone to decide whether to accept or refuse meant that their will is considered an essential thing. I could find an accumulation of such decisive will in each artist at this exhibition. There were relationships among exhibitors. The exhibition made me feel it would be extremely important to show such relations.

Lastly, expressing my respect for the artists who went to the venue to show us their great performances at the end of the year, I would like to quote a text written by Chiharu Ninagawa who participated in this exhibition as a writer of the text. Ninagawa described this exhibition as follows. In this “Sticky Sloppy Lumpy” exhibition, some creations are randomly and continuously renewed at the venue by the six exhibitors. After recognizing meanings and images of words which exist under circumstances that all kinds of fragmented acts are connected with each other and come to be included in artworks as symbolic behaviors, and an area of creations and that of display space exist in parallel within the same dimension to generate an act of “rejection” as a representation of good or bad relationship among molecules created through clashes occurring in one space between the above-mentioned two areas - an area of creations and that of display space - , and then the acts place themselves at the center of all existing things and provide them with fitness, all the six artists make various kinds of attempts as follows:

fig. 10 View from the exhibition "Sticky Sloppy Lumpy" at TURNER GALLERY (the1st floor), photo by Goro Murayama on December 18, 2009

fig. 9 View from the exhibition "Sticky Sloppy Lumpy" at TURNER GALLERY (the1st floor), photo by Goro Murayama on December 18, 2009

Shingo Aruga: He tries to approach viewers’ bodies throughout the exhibition period by placing a burden on viewers to transform the process of their perception and to turn hideous things into beautiful ones.

Yasufumi Ueno: In approaching paintings, he aims to make images fluidly go inside each viewer’s perspective and transform it, and to expose the possibility and impossibility of the transformation.

Eiki Okuda: Using evidence established in the field of physics or science, he enjoys in an imaginary world showing the impossibility created by paralleling different dimensions.

Ryo Ozeki: Approaching the ability of discrimination and recognition of matters or spaces composed of lines and colors and accepting that lines are primitive things invented by humans, just like fire, he tells us human beings can not only lessen the distance between the beginning and the end, but can decide the both time points as well.

Tomoyuki Miyamoto: Putting characteristics of things in parallel in the same dimension through behaviors, he presents various kinds of aspects as well as the meanings of each thing.

Goro Murayama: He expresses the fluctuations of space by creating supports in the same process as that of drawing to make both a two-dimensional space and a tridimensional space appear alternately.

(Translated by Nozomi Nakayama)
Last Updated on November 03 2015

Editor's Note by 

Group exhibition by six students of Tokyo University of Arts and Musashino Art University's graduate schools. The members respectively produce a work at random from the first to the final day.

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