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Suchan Kinoshita (et alii), Tokonoma, Ludlow 38, Goethe Institut New-York


Tokonoma I, 2012, détail

MINI/Goethe-Institut Curatorial Residencies Ludlow 38 is pleased to present the exhibition Tokonoma with Olivier Foulon, Joerg Franzbecker, Kris Kimpe, Suchan Kinoshita, Aglaia Konrad, Willem Oorebeek, Eran Schaerf, and Walter Swennen.

A tokonoma is a built-in recessed space in a traditional Japanese room in which items are displayed for artistic appreciation. Derived from the concept of the personal Buddhist altar, it has become a standard domestic feature with a decorative purpose. One only enters this space in order to change the display following a strict etiquette. Toko literally means « raised floor » or « bed », while ma describes the gap, space, or pause between two structural parts. A tokonoma is not created by compositional elements, but rather refers to one’s consciousness of place and awareness of form and non-form. It creates an experiential space emphasizing the interval, the in-between.

Suchan Kinoshita has been using her ongoing, continuously changing series Tokonoma to open similar in-between spaces of thought between the practices of different collaborators since 2012. Tokonoma functions as an open score to be performed by and negotiated with invited interpreters. The only preconditions of the Tokonoma are a set of fragile architectural elements, composed of a diagonal line that is supported by vertical planes. Together, these form an open structure of intervals to be punctuated by works chosen by the respective contributors. This installational setting facilitates a negotiation of the given conditions and positions, while challenging the status and manifestations of artistic media via various transitions: from sculpture to installation, to gesture, to presence and participation. Tokonoma thus opens a microcosm of inquiry into who, where, how, and what is being negotiated while on view—a microcosm for the investigation of how to confront the various realities and materialities of artwork, how to compose its different aspects, and finally of how to present individual works without granting one more importance than the other.

Tokonoma operates as an archive as well as an exhibition, bringing together varying working methods, processes, and works. Beside the notion of collaboration, it allows an approach towards performativity and the timeline of a show beyond singular events. Influenced by her study of musical composition, Suchan Kinoshita has been concerned with the possibilities of integrating time as a structural part of a total entity throughout her career. In relation to other artistic strategies and interpreters, she uses Tokonoma to destabilize claims for completeness via a structural embrace of transformation and change within the course of the presentation.

For Tokonoma at Ludlow 38 in New York, Suchan Kinoshita, Olivier Foulon, Joerg Franzbecker, Kris Kimpe, Aglaia Konrad, Willem Oorebeek, Eran Schaerf, and Walter Swennen—all of whom have collaborated in different constellations in recent years—come together during the month of May to enter a visual and spatial dialogue within a new interpretation of Tokonoma for a second time.

Tokonoma with Olivier Foulon, Joerg Franzbecker, Kris Kimpe, Suchan Kinoshita, Aglaia Konrad, Willem Oorebeek, Eran Schaerf, and Walter Swennen

Opening: Sunday, May 11, 6:00pm
05/12/14 – 06/14/14
MINI/Goethe-Institut Curatorial Residencies Ludlow 38
38 Ludlow Street
New York, NY 10002

MINI/Goethe-Institut Curatorial Residencies Ludlow 38 is the Goethe-Institut New York’s contemporary art space, made possible with the generous support of MINI. Located on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, it has provided for curatorial experimentation in the tradition of the German Kunstverein since 2008. Its mission is to introduce new international perspectives to the downtown art community and to foster dialogue within the greater aesthetic and political context of New York and the United States. In the last three years, the trajectory of exhibitions has been determined by annually rotating curatorial residents from Germany, who bring their own unique perspectives to the art space. Ludlow 38 was initially programmed by a different German Kunstverein each year: Kunstverein München in 2008, followed by the European Kunsthalle Cologne and Künstlerhaus Stuttgart. In 2011, a residency program for young curators from Germany was launched in partnership with MINI. Since then, exhibitions and events have been organized by curatorial residents Tobi Maier (2011), Clara Meister (2012), Jakob Schillinger (2013), and Eva Birkenstock (2014) respectively.

Eva Birkenstock is the 2014 MINI/Goethe-Institut Curatorial Resident at Ludlow 38. Since 2010, she has been Curator of the KUB Arena at Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria. Previously, she was the Artistic Co-Director of the Halle für Kunst, Lüneburg, Germany. Together with Galit Eilat and Eyal Danon she initiated the Mobile Archive, a growing video archive that has been touring the world since 2007. She has curated and co-curated exhibitions with artists including Yona Friedman, Dani Gal, Dora Garcia, Nick Mauss, Katrin Mayer, Ulrike Müller, Emma Hedditch, Falke Pisano, Tris Vonna-Michell and Ian White. Notable group projects include On Performance, 2010 (curated with Joerg Franzbecker); Nairobi – A State of Mind, 2012; and Beginning Good. All Good. – Actualizations of the Futurist Opera ‘Victory Over the Sun’, 2011 (with Kerstin Stakemeier & Nina Koeller). She most recently co-edited Art and the Critique of Ideology After 1989 and On Performance (2012), both for Kunsthaus Bregenz, as well as the artist books Tris Vonna-Michell (JRP|Ringier, 2011) and Dani Gal – Chanting Down Babylon (Argo, 2009). Birkenstock holds an MA in Art History and Cultural Anthropology from the Freie Universität Berlin