February 5– March 31, 2022
KOTARO NUKAGA, Roppongi
From February 5th (Sat) to March 31st (Thu), 2022, KOTARO NUKAGA, Roppongi is pleased to present ‘Ondulatoire’, a solo exhibition by Gentaro Ishizuka. The exhibition will present 17 artworks including new works by the artist.
The world as seen from under the hood of a dark cloth and through the focusing screen of a camera lens seems to appear three-dimensional, due to the manipulation of the camera. It is “as if the eyes are molding the world into a sculpture,” as Ishizuka describes it. This idea of reinterpreting the photographic space underlies Ishizuka’s entire photographic practice to date. Adopting a style that draws upon the 1970s strategy of “deadpan photography” (Note 1), which aimed to present a detached and documentative (hence “deadpan”) form of photography as art, Ishizuka allows us, in this age of digital photography where everything in the world is seen as a flat image, to experience the world through different eyes.
Le Corbusier (1887-1965), one of the greatest architects of the 20th century, is known for freeing architecture from it’s form with his rational approach and proactive integration of new materials, Dom- Ino systems of construction, and other innovative building methods. Le Corbusier designed the Couvent de La Tourette in Lyon (constructed in 1960), and instructed his pupil, the architect, mathematician, and composer Iannis Xenakis (1922-2001), to design the building’s fenestration. Xenakis rejected counterpoint music, a compositional style which tends to organize melodies in an orderly fashion, and introduced a complexity that allowed for fluctuations on the micro level and expressions of large, dynamic mass on the macro level. He incorporated a mathematical element into his music, utilizing a method of sheet music termed graphic notation, rather than musical scores. It is often said that the design of La Tourette’s windows and exterior openings share something in common with the score of his most famous piece, Metastaseis.
The louvers (window shutters with angled horizontal slats to admit light and air) that Xenakis arranged at irregular intervals within the fenestration, which he named ondulatoire (Note 2)
(“undulatory”), were highly successful in adding a musical element to La Tourette, creating a new interpretation of the architectural space. The sunlight shining through the window panes created a musical score of shadows on the ground, allowing the enclosed monastery to become a meditative place where one could notice fluctuation and change within the continuous cycle of days and years that compromise ascetic training. It can be said that this very fluctuation, this orchestral music that continues to be played through light and shadow there, is ondulatoire.
This “score” created by Xenakis, this orchestra performed by light, is the motif that Ishizuka selected for his works this time. From amongst the various “musical performances” that are played throughout the year in the cloister of La Tourette, Ishizuka selected the winter and summer solstices, which expressed the maximum capacity of the fluctuations. In this way, the overall vastness and mass of this daily-fluctuating performance can be perceived. This exhibition will also present works depicting the fenestration of the Chandigarh College of Art (constructed in 1965), another work of ondulatoire created jointly by Le Corbusier and Xenakis. The contrast between these two types of ondulatoire allow a different axis of approach in understanding the breadth of the music of La Tourette’s ondulatoire, reconstructing in three dimensions the wavering world as seen by the composer Xenakis. What Ishizuka expresses this time through the reinterpretation of photographic space is the three- dimensionalization of music; that is, the very architecture of music.
With Ishizuka as conductor, this exhibition functions as a concert of the symphony of ondulatoire. By experiencing this space where the viewer is able to “look at music and listen to photos”, we hope that you will be inspired to reassess your understanding of the relationship between architecture, music, and photography.
(Note 1) Deadpan
A style of photography in which the subjectivity of the artist is excluded from the photograph in order to express objectivity, as described by photography curator Charlotte Cotton in her book “The Photograph as Contemporary Art.”
The adoption of a deadpan aesthetic moves art photography outside the hyperbolic, sentimental and immediately subjective. Such pictures may engage their viewer with emotive subjects, but the sense of the photographer’s emotional perspective is not an obvious guide to understanding their meaning. Deadpan photography offers an apparently measured way of seeing beyond the limitations of a subjective vantage point, pausing to contemplate and distill the flow of time; a way of mapping the extent of phenomena and forces that govern the man made and natural world and can be invisible from a physical and emotional human standpoint.(Charlotte Cotton, “The Photograph as Contemporary Art New Edition (Gendai Shashinron Shinpan)”, translated by Etsuko Ohashi and Michiko Oki, Shobunsha, 2016, p. 83)
(Note 2) ondulatoire
French for “wavy,” the name given to windows with heterogeneous louvers. The official name is Pans de Verre Ondulatoires, meaning “wavy glass surface”.
February 5– March 31, 2022 11:00−18:00 (Tue-Sat) *Closed on Sun, Mon and Public Holidays *Schedule and contents are subject to change at the request of the national and local governments.
Guidelines for visitors
At KOTARO NUKAGA, we will be implementing the following measures to ensure the safety of visitors. Please review our guidelines before your visit. As a precautionary measure to help contain the further spread of COVID-19, we have set the following guidelines. Visitor Safety All visitors are required to wear a mask and sanitize your hands at the entrance. Please refrain from visiting the gallery if you are experiencing the following symptoms: – Cold/Flu-like symptoms – Fever (over 37.1 C/99.1 F) – Fatigue, shortness of breath, etc. Staff Safety At KOTARO NUKAGA we will take the following measures: – Install hand sanitizers in easily accessible locations – Increase the frequency of cleaning and disinfection of high touch points including doorknobs, elevator bottons, etc. – Limit the number of visitors – All the gallery members will wear a mask, regularly sanitize hands, measurement of body temperature Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.