Performance: Discordant Harmony – Masaya Chiba
2015. 2. 6. 19:00
Parking Lot B2 Art Sonje Center
Performance: Discordant Harmony – Masaya Chiba
Art Sonje Center presents Masaya Chiba’s self-portraiting in Public Self-portrait to accompany Discordant Harmony.
A young psychiatrist by the name of Jacques Lacan wrote a doctoral thesis (1932) about a woman under an assumed name, Aimée (the loved one), who lived with the ambiguity of love and hatred and basic jealousy. She dreamed to become a novelist, but after a miscarriage when she was young, Aimée was seized by the delusion that her older sister (whom she respected and loved) and a talented friend stole her baby. The delusion became worse and she started to think that an actress (whom she had adored for a long time) and a writer who had been watching her secretly read her novel to plagiarize it. Ultimately, Aimée broke into the dressing room of a theater, where the actress was performing, and tried to stab her.
Lacan, then 31, diagnosed Aimée’s symptom as “self-punitive paranoia,” and concluded that she wanted to punish nobody but herself. As he later said, “[She may think] “What I love is dead. Deprived of something important, what I want to love is not mine. I am alienated from it. I was cheated, exploited, and plagiarized. And the one who took it and whom I want to kill is no one else than the little other “me.” Although I love myself, I was deprived of me. Therefore, I will kill you, the same person who made me what I am. You are me!”
Aimée struck her externalized ideal. However, the value of the object was purely symbolic, and the act did not by itself lead to relief. Yet with the same blow which made her guilty in the eyes of the law, she received a blow to herself. When she had time to comprehend this, she experienced the satisfaction of a desire accomplished; her delusions, rendered ineffective by this realization, vanished.
The above quote is part of Ataru Sasaki’s Yasen To Eien (Les batailles nocturnes et l’eternite), which I read in 2009. Inspired by this book, I came up with the idea to paint a self-portrait upon another person’s face. In the above book, Aiméewas a patient who had lost the ability to distinguish between others and herself, and for that same reason I thought she might have been in a better condition.
After reading the book, I thought about reflecting one’s own image on others, ways to borrow another person’s body or being, for example, and the images one reflected on others coming back to the reflector.
Unnecessary to explain, the self-portrait is a genre of painting.
Generally speaking, painting needs three elements: ① the painted object, ② a support fixture upon which the picture is painted, and ③ a painter. However, the self-portrait is a bit special because element ① and ③ remain the same. As those two are the same, the thought and spirit about element ② — the materiality of the support fixture and paints — is very much highlighted in this genre.
Through this self-portrait series I tried to involve the Other in element ② to support the fixture. The first artwork was painted in 2012 and the support fixture was an actress performing on the stage. I actually painted my face upon the actress’s face and let her perform based on a variety of selected texts. Then I painted her on paper.
For the second artwork, a female friend helped me in 2014. I painted my face upon her face and told her what I am like and how I act in everyday life using a headset. She then imitated me as a performance, after which I painted what she was doing on paper.
As for the third artwork, nothing is fixed yet, but I’m thinking of asking someone who can do taekwondo to help me. I have always felt a longing toward taekwondo ever since being impressed by a taekwondo competition video I saw in my childhood. At a glance, I was able to see that action heroes’ movements (as represented by the Kamen Rider series, for example) were all inspired by taekwondo. Maybe it was because I felt a sense of lofty spirituality, which is more than simply knocking down the opponent. Although it is hard to describe, I had the impression that I was shouting for life away from gravity.
Born in Kanagawa in 1980, Chiba currently lives in Kanagawa. He graduated from the Oil Painting Course at Tama Art University in 2005. Painter. By digging holes in collaborative projects, and making human figures out of papier-mâché and wood scraps, Chiba makes places and objects that are a product of his own physical actions. He also creates structures using a wide array of everyday materials like plaster, stone, fabric, drawings, and photographs, and depicts these temporary landscapes in his paintings. Then Chiba makes a new space by displaying these works on simple, homemade wooden stands, realizing a total harmony between painting and sculpture. In recent years, he has participated in various group exhibitions both in and outside Japan, including Roppongi Crossing (Mori Art Museum, 2013), Mono no Aware: Beauty of Things (The State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, 2013-2014), the California-Pacific Triennial (Orange County Museum of Art, 2013), Kunisaki Art Project (2012), and Winter Garden (Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, 2009).
Art Sonje Center, National Culture and Arts Foundation of Taiwan, Spring Foundation