©️AKI INOMATA / Photo by Ken Kato
Why Not Hand Over a “Shelter” to Hermit Crabs?
Du lundi 15 avril au dimanche 19 mai
de 14h à 18h sauf le 1er mai
« Dans Why Not Hand Over a « Shelter » to Hermit Crabs? (Pourquoi ne pas donner un « abri » aux bernard-l’ermite ?), les bernard-l’ermite habitent un abri transparent représentant une ville du monde et en changent quand c’est nécessaire. Ils vont d’une ville à l’autre, si l’on peut dire. Cette œuvre fait partie d’une série qui a débuté en 2009 à l’ancienne ambassade de France à Tokyo. Bien que faisant géographiquement partie du Japon, le territoire sur lequel l’Ambassade de France est construite est considéré comme territoire français. Bien qu’il ait été « retourné au Japon » pour être démoli, il « reviendra à la France » un demi-siècle plus tard. J’ai été très surprise d’apprendre que la même terre pouvait aller et venir comme ça entre le Japon et la France, et j’ai soudain été inspirée par la vision d’un crabe ermite déplaçant sa maison d’une coquille à l’autre. Les bernard-l’ermite se protègent en habitant les coquilles d’escargots de mer et en se déplaçant vers de plus grosses coquilles au fur et à mesure de leur croissance. Et, parfois, ils sont expulsés de chez eux par des bernard-l’ermite plus forts. Lorsqu’un bernard-l’ermite change de carapace, il transforme complètement son apparence extérieure et devient méconnaissable. »
Aki Inomata vit et travaille à Tokyo, elle a été motivée à être artiste parce qu’elle se sentait mal à l’aise dans une société hautement numérisée. Ses créations sont basées sur l’observation du monde humain à travers le prisme animal, ce qui lui permet, comme elle le dit, de réfléchir sur l’état de sa propre vie, ou de retrouver un véritable sens de la réalité.
Ses expositions récentes incluent la Biennale de Thaïlande 2018 (Krabi, 2018), Scopitone (Nantes, 2018), ECO EXPANDED CITY 2016 (Wroclaw, 2016), Emergencies ! 025 : Communication inter-nature (Tokyo, 2015). Elle a reçu le Grand Prix aux YouFab Global Creative Awards 2014 de Loftwork Inc.
Cette exposition est proposée avec la collaboration des festivals Scopitone à Nantes et STRP à Eindhoven.
« In Why Not Hand Over a « Shelter » to Hermit Crabs?, hermit crabs move from one transparent ‘shell’ representing one of the world’s cities to another from city to city, so to speak. This work is part of a series that began in 2009, commencing with work for the No Man’s Land exhibition (2009) at the former French Embassy in Tokyo. Despite being geographically part of Japan, the land on which the French Embassy is built is considered French territory. Although it was ‘returned to Japan’ in order for the building to be demolished, it will ‘revert back to France’ half a century later. I was very surprised to hear that the same land could go back and forth like this between Japan and France, and was suddenly inspired by a vision of a hermit crab moving its home from one shell to another. Hermit crabs protect themselves by inhabiting sea snail shells, moving to bigger shells as they grow. And, sometimes, they are kicked out of their homes by stronger hermit crabs, having to accept an unfair trade. When a hermit crab changes shells, it utterly transforms its outer appearance, becoming unrecognizable. Although this may at first seem to be a unique characteristic of hermit crabs, people do the same thing.
‘Things which are so far back are not like a part of myself, more like the life of somebody else, and should be written by another. To me it all seemed like chance; choice, if any, came much later. How I came to make decisions, I do not know. Perhaps choice, too, is chance, like the rolling of dice. With my double nationality and double upbringing, where was my home? Where my affections? Where my identity? Japan or America, either, both−−or the world?’
This passage is taken from Isamu Noguchi’s autobiography (A Sculptor’s World, 1968). The latter part of the quote reveals his struggle with a lack of identity: despite having roots in both Japan and America, he fails to completely belong to either country. However, the first part of the text suggests that, aside from his dual citizenship, he was tormented by the gap between Isamu Noguchi himself and the man known as Isamu Noguchi who was shaped by his parents, by his environment, by the times he lived in, and by chance occurrences throughout his entire life. In other words, he was tormented by the gap his own self-awareness and other people’s awareness of him. In this respect, too, I discovered qualities that can be found in hermit crabs and their shells.
People embellish themselves with clothes and makeup, and wear items associated with their
occupation or position to express their status. Animals and humans are not the same, but surely they can both be seen as creatures that sometimes change their external shells as opposed to their own bodies. In other words, they change how they appear to others, with such changes sometimes being made voluntarily and sometimes being made in circumstances where there is no choice. We have to constantly live with other people’s awareness of ourselves. This phenomenon, in which people are tormented by the discrepancy between how they see themselves and how other people see them, and the loneliness that it causes, is very much like a present-day diaspora. It was my own loneliness as a member of this diaspora individuals who lack their own identity as a result of preoccupation with how they appear to others that led me to project onto the hermit crab this image of an exile drifting about, moving from country to country. »
Aki Inomata, April 2017
Aki Inomata is a visual artist based in Tokyo who works through collaborations with animals, depicting truths about human society gleaned from animal behavior. Her major works include the series Why Not Hand Over a “Shelter” to Hermit Crabs?, in which she creates shells for hermit crabs modelled after cities, so that the crabs move between cities when they relocate from one shell to another, and I Wear the Dog’s Hair, and the Dog Wears My Hair, in which she makes herself a cape out of her dog’s hair and a smaller cape out of her own hair, so that when she wears the dog hair cape, and the dog wears the cape made from the artist’s hair, they are wearing each other’s coats. Born and raised in Tokyo, Inomata was motived to become an artist due to feeling ill at ease with highly digitalized society and her lack of feeling truly alive as a living creature. Her art is based on observation of the human world through non-human creatures, which also serves as a way for the artist, as she says, to reflect on the state of her own life, or to regain a true sense of reality.
Her recent exhibitions include Thailand Biennale 2018 (Krabi, 2018), Scopitone (Nantes, 2018), ECO EXPANDED CITY 2016 (Wroclaw, 2016), Emergencies! 025 : Inter-Nature Communication (Tokyo, 2015). She received the Grand Prize at the YouFab Global Creative Awards 2014 from Loftwork Inc.