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Here at the beginning of the 21st century, I get the feeling that advances in scientific and information technology, such as the Internet, have made the world more knowable than it has ever been in the past. And yet even in our immediate surroundings there remain countless enigmas - mysteries that remain inexplicable by science or reason. At the same time, many of the things we have long taken for granted, such as the concepts of time and space, are being transformed by those same technological developments.
In this, the fourth edition of the Yokohama Triennale, which will be titled "OUR MAGIC HOUR: How Much of the World Can We Know?" I intend to focus on works of art that refer to the mysteries of the world and our everyday lives - such things as magic-like powers, supernatural phenomena, mythology, legend and animism.
I did not choose to focus on these issues out of a desire to question the limits of science, elevate mysticism, or pursue art as a form of entertainment. I pose these questions so that we can turn our eyes to those areas that cannot be figured out by science or reason - areas that have been marginalized; values that we once respected but have forgotten; relationships between nature and humankind that need to be reconsidered, and so on. By investigating these questions, we can get an idea of more flexible, open relationships with the world and alternative views on history and events.
Yokohama Triennale 2011 will take place both outdoors and indoors at two main venues, the Yokohama Museum of Art and BankART Studio NYK. lt will include artworks by just over 60 contemporary artists and also some from the museum's collection. From site-specific installations and media work to modern painting and historical objects such as Coptic tapestry fragments, the exhibition will include a wide range of artworks in terms of both age and material.
One of the distinctive features of this Triennale will be that there will be unexpected "encounters" at various corners of the exhibition space. The Triennale will not only include works that involve the participation of viewers, but it will present works with such diverse themes, ages, generations, cultural backgrounds and genres that unlikely dialogues and relations will spring up between them, allowing viewers new interpretations and creative inspiration. A voyage of art appreciation that is entirely unrestricted by existing categories and preconceived ideas will be possible. In addition, because the Yokohama Museum of Art is now one of the main venues, some of the artists work in collaboration with works in the museum's collection. Thus the museum itself will be presented in an entirely new light.
"By learning to accept mysteries and contradictions, by learning to change our perspectives, we might find that suddenly, like magic, the world is open and accessible to us." With this message in mind, Yokohama Triennale 2011 approaches the present age of uncertainty and confusion as an attempt to rethink human existence and our surroundings with the pure curiosity, flexibility and imagination of a child, and without the limiting influence of existing structures and ideas.
MIKI Akiko - biographical data:
MIKI has worked as independent curator, co-director of Dentsu Art Project, before working as chief curator at Palais de Tokyo in 2000. She has a wide experience of curating exhibitions in an international context, including 1998 Taipei Biennial and shows at the Barbican Art Gallery in London and National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea. She has received BA in Art History, University of Washington, Seattle, USA, then completed MA in Art History, Université de Paris IV, Sorbonne, France.
6 August - 6 Nov. 2011
Our Magic Hour: How Much of the World Can We Know?
Director of the Yokohama Museum of Art