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Special Gallery Talk by Amelia Arenas
A related event to the "IS THIS ART?" exhibition, Dec. 20, 1998
Please click the images for the video files.




Arenas: Hi, everybody!

Arenas: I think Mito is almost only city in the world inhabited with the young people completely. Very good to see young faces in museums. Keep it out.

Arenas: I wanted to..., instead of a lecture, although would be easier and practical for me, have a conversation with you instead about the exhibition.

Arenas: There I will get to learn something from you, and also it's the way we can share which is really and most important thing that art has to offer.

Arenas: So what we're gonna do really is we're gonna go there and make some arts. You know what? We aren't gonna draw nor paint.

Arenas: People often think that Art is works of art. That's Art. But it's not true.

Arenas: Art is what happens between works of art and people.

Arenas: So, how bad or good this art is, it's gonna depend on how creative and playful your own response is.

Arenas: Also, unfortunately, because I don't speak Japanese, I apologize, I can't call over as many works in our discussion as I would really like.

Arenas: But I beg that you stay after my talk and see the show again and see every work carefully, trying to do in a sense what we will be doing together now. And if you can adopt somebody from the audience to go with you and talk aloud with them about these things, so much better.

Arenas: OK ?


Arenas: In this room, corner of the exhibition, you probably can get a sense of how very different the choices as to how to make Art have been in this century.

Arenas: The styles are so different and the mood is so different from work to work that it almost seems that they came from different eras and from different cultures.

Arenas: Yes ?

Arenas: You can get it from two things here. Can you find two works of art more different than these two? Hard.

Arenas: They also represent two extremes of what you can do making pictures. But I would argue both of them are deeply marked by the spirit of modernity.

Arenas: Let's begin with famous Monet.

Arenas: It's a very popular work, worldwide. I think it's very hard to get a dentist office or a psychologist office, anywhere in the world, where you don't see a poster of Monet. It's like Monet is what you need to relax. And pretend we aren't gonna hurt. Or cost any money.

Arenas: Let's talk about it. Let's look at it and tell me whatever comes to your mind as you look at it.

Arenas: Raise your hand.

Participant: Quiet breeze.

Arenas: Quiet breeze. It's interesting. We are not there, it's just an image. We don't have any sensations in our skin. But immediately the first thing she says is breeze, which is something not visible.

Arenas: It's curious. Breeze!

Arenas: What else? Atsuko.

Participant: Quiet pass of time. The time duration is really quiet.

Arenas: I think his time actually slows down here.

Arenas: What else ? If you don't raise your hands, I ask you individually.

Participant: Light and shade.

Arenas: Light and shade. Spectrums of light and shade.

Arenas: OK. What else? Let's try to describe what we're actually seeing in there, seeing with your eyes.

Arenas: Ogasawara-san.

Participant: Trees are reflected on the water, and the water is bathed with lotus, and there is light reflected on the water.

Arenas: OK. She's talking about not just what you see namely water lilies or lotus, but also what is not there. Like the trees. We're not seeing the trees, we're seeing the reflections of the trees on the water.

Arenas: What else ?

Arenas: Tell me, can you, why people like Monet so much. I like it very much. Why do they like it so much?

Arenas: Inoue?

Participant: It shows a lot more things than what actually there is, like reflections, so it feels like space. I feel broader than this proportion.

Arenas: He says that maybe the popularity has to do with the fact that there is a lot more in the picture. So can the psychological space beyond the objects depicted.

Arenas: What else ? If you don't raise your hands, I won't get my checks, so you'd better help me.

Arenas: Soft, it's actually also ambiguous, it's not very clear where we are.

Arenas: Normally landscapes show you a horizon, boats, person under parasol, a whole environment.

Arenas: You don't see the edges of this pond. You don't really see the sky but see the reflections. It's not even clear what's the season nor what time of day. So in fact it's a very personal picture.

Arenas: The other thing is that the artist is there and he knows but we don't really know what we're looking at.

Arenas: So part of the attraction to this picture I think is precisely the fact that we're a little bit lost in looking at it.

Arenas: We have to continually be adjusting our eyes to sharpen the focus and place ourselves in this world of shadows and reflections and transparencies.

Arenas: How about this one? What's different in your attitude when you look at these two things? What changes when you look at these in you?

Participant: This one attracts me and forces me in and makes me relaxed but that one, there is tension for me and it rejects to enter.

Arenas: Hah ! Interesting. Anything else?

Arenas: Ayako !

Participant: This one has a spreading out feeling but that one is encased.

Arenas: One seems to expand and the other one seems to enclose.

Arenas: OK. Any other ideas?

Arenas: Atsuko, you were looking very interested in what she was saying. So tell me.

Participant: I'm sorry but I can't see it right away.

Arenas: That's OK. You can think about it and raise your hand.

Arenas: Anybody else ? Oh, yeah! Tomomi.

Participant: Although Ayako says that one is encased, for me this one is more familiar and that one is showing somewhere, distant space that I never knew.

Arenas: OK. That's an interesting search. She says maybe, what I feel is not that this is enclosed but rather, that this is familiar. That's why I can enter it. But this is unfamiliar. This is not a space I know.

Arenas: What else ? Can you see what it is? Can you describe it? Who could describe this picture?

Arenas: You have to go back home and tell your girl friend or boy friend what you saw. How will you describe this picture?

Arenas: Handsome guy with a turtleneck. Would you describe this picture?

Participant: From here, it looks like three gradational colors. I don't look very clear. But for myself, this picture is more familiar and makes me relaxed and quiet.

Arenas: OK. You all hear what he said? Can you hear? Yes? OK.

Arenas: What is familiar in it to you ?

Participant: Perhaps its colors, because I live in an old Japanese house. That's the colors that I'm familiar with.

Arenas: OK. Anybody else? Anybody can describe that he says three tones of black. Do you agree with that?


Arenas: Does anybody see anything else ?

Participant: There is a darkness within the darkness.

Arenas: There is a darkness within the darkness. Beautiful and nice. Is that a metaphor or is that literal, what you mean?

Participant: There is, actual.

Arenas: Actual darkness within the darkness. OK. So, tell me, he saw three bands of different black. You see anything else?

Participant: I feel there is closer darkness and deeper darkness.

Arenas: OK. What about that? There is some darkness that pushes out and some darkness that comes in.

Arenas: Does anybody see more than three bands of black?

Participant: I see 3 colors, then 6 colors, and if I become really careful, I see 9 colors but I don't know if my eyes are exact.

Arenas: Can you see that this part is slightly lighter than this? And this is darker than this. And this is darker than this but not quite as dark as this. Can you see them?

Arenas: So another work going on with Modern Art is that you have to sometimes pay more attention.

Arenas: But what's going on there is not so different from what's going on here.

Arenas: Because these two artists are interested in something very similar which is the subtleties of what the eye can do with the surface.

Arenas: He didn't want to paint a sunset and water lilies and landscapes like so, because he thought that when you look at a landscape, you'd already had ideas of what a landscape that come out and become an obstacle between you and the picture.

Arenas: But when you don't have any objects to look at, then the subject of the picture is "look", not "looking at", but looking in itself.

Arenas: And you may say,"So what?"

Arenas: Why dispense so much time in making such a difficult picture to me, because you can imagine if you were so hard to find what occurs, so much harder, it is, to paint them.

Arenas: Let's think about this. This painting was made at the height of the television culture. Think about that. Think out how different it is to watch TV from looking at that.

Arenas: So this apparent blackness or total darkness in a way allows you to hear your own thoughts and you're aware of your own eyes and of your own time. Just the opposite of what happens when you watch TV.

Arenas: So both of these pictures, however different they are, are about the self, about being alone with yourself, your thoughts, your sensations and your emotions.

Arenas: I want you to come into that room and spend 30 seconds or so there and come out and meet me there. And tell me what's going on there and what that has to do with these two things.


Arenas: For now let's talk about our impressions. Sit here and look at me here.

Arenas: Hurry up ! Life is short. Please sit down. My group, please, don't abandon me.

Arenas: What do you think ?

Arenas: Michiko.

Participant: I've got the surface of the water at the beginning, but this is getting confused later, then it feels like I've got into the water and flowed in and myself has disappeared.

Arenas: Did you hear that?

Arenas: I know that. She disappeared in it.

Arenas: What else ?

Arenas: Shiokawa.

Participant: I was in a rush and I can't really tell, but at the point I took a look of that, I wanted to go towards there instead of being here.

Arenas: Me, too. I felt very ill for having to leave and come and actually do my job.

Arenas: What else ?

Arenas: Tomomi.

Participant: At the beginning I didn't realize that it is the water but it looked like cells exploding. Then I realized that it is the water surface and it was confusing. And it starts to look like something else.

Arenas: Ah-ha! The people in the early 20th century who saw that Monet, the people who first saw pictures of Monet, felt something similar.

Arenas: Felt disoriented.

Arenas: Because it is like looking at something straight on without context.

Arenas: What else? Did you like it? It's so strong.

Arenas: Any other thoughts ?

Arenas: Hitoshi. What was your impression?

Participant: I saw the wave crashing. Instead of going to the real beach, why does people make that?

Arenas: Good question! Let's find an answer to this philosophical question that Hitoshi has raised.

Arenas: Why not go to the beach instead? Answer. Is there any difference between one thing and the other?

Arenas: Listen to the young people over there. Can you tell us? You.

Arenas: Why not go the beach and look at the crashing of the waves ? Why do the video installation over it instead?

Participant: In order to be more clear.

Arenas: That's an interesting thing. Let's think about that.

Arenas: In a way, Art is to put a frame around something. So that it is more clear. Not just more clear as you can see it better, but rather, so that, when you take it out of reality, you're related to that thing in a different way, very different way from the moment which you're on the beach looking at the crashing of the waves.

Arenas: What else is different between looking at the crashing of the waves on the beach and there ?

Participant: When I go to the beach, I just feel nice and easy, but when I look at the video, I feel uncomfortable. There is different force moving there.

Arenas: Because when you're at the beach, you have your bathing suit, your boy friend, sun tan, vacation, Sunday afternoon... All kinds of things that are not happening there.

Arenas: Anything that is taken out of context becomes strange and intense. That's part of what Art does with reality.

Arenas: What else happens there that doesn't happen at the beach ?

Participant: When you go to the actual beach, you can touch it, smell it, you can feel it with your body, but there you see it and have to use your imagination to feel it.

Arenas: You will construct your experience.

Arenas: Anything else ? Michiko.

Participant: The wave there is not horizontal. It's vertical. That's why she becomes really sick at the end.

Arenas: You said in fact, she's doing, the artist, the same thing that Monet did. She's looking down. Monet painted what he saw on the surface of the pond, then he put the picture up.

Arenas: But she did something else. Because, if you notice, she's taking a picture very close to the surface of the water.

Arenas: It's just the wave as it breaks on the sand. So not only the artist takes this image and puts it on the wall hooked but she enlarges it. And sometimes she plays it back. And sidewards.

Arenas: So maybe you're afraid because you become like a crab. When you become so small.

Arenas: I love that piece because she makes something so simple and ordinary into a big monument and makes me feel very small.

Arenas: And the artists of the past did that by, say, making a picture of Mt. Fuji. Or a picture of, you know, the Alps. So that you imagine yourself there unfaithful.

Arenas: You feel small in a tiny square inch of, a couple of square inches of water breaking on the sand. You hear wow as a crab would.


Arenas: Why don't you now sit here so that we talk about this ? You're too far away. If people are far away, I don't have them along. There's a little space here.

Arenas: OK. Now let's look at this.

Arenas: And I suspect some of you won't be able to see. If you don't see well, please sit here or there. Cameraman, could you displace for a little while?

Arenas: (Let's look at this) for a while and see what will happen.

Arenas: That's OK. Let's look at it and try to see if we can figure out what we're looking at. Raise your hand, those of you, if you wanna talk.

Participant: As the previous work, this is enlargement of some small part of things. I think fungi and mold, when it's enlarged, looks beautiful, too.

Arenas: Anybody else? As to this work? Anything as to what this could be?

Arenas: What do you think?

Participant: It looks like food.

Arenas: Can you identify any food? What kind of food?

Arenas: And you? What does it look like, this?

Participant: Pizza.

Arenas: In fact there is pizza there. Very good. You can see the sauce.

Arenas: Excellent! What else?

Arenas: Can anybody else find any other food? It's not in the way you would find them on your plate, of course.

Arenas: Yes, Tomomi.

Participant: It looks like there is a broken plate.

Arenas: In fact, there is. She's seeing here a broken plate. Can you see it?

Arenas: Ah-ha. So you've got a pizza, or someone else has a red sauce, you see a broken plate. What else?

Arenas: How about this ?

Participant: Macaroni.

Arenas: Macaroni ! Canned macaroni, specifically.

Arenas: All of these things, as Yutaka said, are composed in things rotten. Can you see it?

Arenas: Look at this. Beautiful network of lines!

Arenas: It's a bacterium that actually gathers up and creates a web.

Arenas: Look at the way which extends and extends, and this will dot, there are eggs which will broaden something bigger like fungi, not exactly, look like fungi. And look at this! This is really swelling up!

Arenas: But I find this quite beautiful. I thought that I agree with Yutaka. Some people are nodding. You find it beautiful, Michiko?

Participant: I thought it was a intestines at the beginning. It still looks like a fruit parfait with sugar, marron, cream...

Arenas: It's got all the elements. It does have some ideograms in it. It looks like gums and it looks like interiors of an animal.

Arenas: Did anybody see that ?

Arenas: Some people sometimes also think of what is seen through microscope.

Arenas: It indicates that we have here similar empowerment that you were saying before, looking at something very ordinary and making something of an opera.

Arenas: But what would be the point of making a picture of something like this?

Participant: The point ?

Arenas: You can't take out any?

Participant: I can't gather my thoughts.

Arenas: It's hard. If you were looking at a picture of a sunflower, it may be easier, right? Why would anybody make a picture of sunflowers? Why?

Participant: Because it's beautiful. So Cindy Sherman thought this was beautiful, too. Because it is beautiful so they wanted to communicate what is beautiful.

Arenas: I agree. But "beautiful" is a fat word. It's beautiful but "beautiful" has so many sides, doesn't it? "Beautiful" can be something that really shocks you, moves you, for example. It's not just it looks cool.

Arenas: Many people would say this doesn't really look like cool. Many people would not look at this in their livings. I would.

Arenas: Who else would?

Arenas: Oh, good! I'm not crazy, then! What would make you put it in your living room?

Participant: Colors are pretty.

Arenas: Definitely. And you?

Participant: From the long time ago, I always thought the bacterium is beautiful. Bacterium is something that comes from nothing and becomes something beautiful. And that's mysterious.

Arenas: My kind of guy !

Arenas: And why? I think part of what's beautiful is that you can't really see them normally. It's strange, strange, from another world, in a way.

Participant: I wonder what it is. How it's gonna be.

Arenas: Somebody else raised his hand. It's you?

Arenas: Yeah. Why would you put it in in your hands?

Participant: When I take a look from far away, it looks very beautiful just like the picture next to it. And as a design, it looks beautiful.

Arenas: Good. What else?

Participant: There is a lot of way in which this picture communicates. At the beginning, I thought it was beautiful, and then, I realized that it was bacteria, and then, like her, at the end, it looks like sugar and fruit parfait. So there are many ways that I can take a look at this picture.

Arenas: Some, for instance, this guy, seems to like Art that he can't figure out. I like Art that I can't figure out. If I can understand it completely, bored!

Arenas: Part of the wonderful things of the Art is that every time you look at it, if it is really good, you just see it from another angle and you're surprised by what you feel and find.

Arenas: And one of the things that, to me, for example, is moving here about this picture is the fact that it reminds me, it makes me think about, why I would be so frightened about seeing rotten things. For example, if you forget to throw away the garbage before you go out through the weekend, on Sunday or Monday you open your refrigerator or a garbage can, it is.... Very intense!

Arenas: Why is it so intense? What's the big deal? So what you forget to throw away your garbage?

Arenas: Why is it such a big deal? Tell me, Hitomi, why are we so frightened about seeing the garbage? Rotten garbage?

Participant: Something edible has changed to something that can't eat.

Arenas: And what's about that? Why so frightened about that?

Participant: I can't say.

Arenas: I don't think that there is one answer. I'm just wondering about it.

Arenas: You'll see a dog, for instance, a dog sees something rotten and he smells it. Something of no deal and it walk out. But we don't do that.

Arenas: Why is it so frightening for humans to see things rotten?

Participant: There is something that happens but it shouldn't happen.

Arenas: We're too controlling, you mean, human being is too controlling itself. We should stop this process.

Arenas: What else ? What is another reason?

Participant: Someway there's death around you when you see a rotten thing.

Arenas: Exactly. Seeing something rotten reminds us that we will rot. That's why the dog doesn't freak what happened to see rotten things put in the midden.


Arenas: Where is the little girl? (I'd like you and) your mother to do that. Where is your mum?

Arenas: You get the other side and hold your hands, OK?

Arenas: So, let's see.

Arenas: So, what about this? What is this about?

Participant: It's the "dilemma of porcupine".

Arenas: Dilemma of porcupine?

Interpreter: There is a Japanese saying but I don't know about this porcupine that she mentioned.

Arenas: Really ? We don't know. Please explain it.

Participant: There is a saying called "dilemma of porcupine", the two porcupines who try to communicate but they're either afraid to be hurt and afraid to hurt, so they can't make it at all.

Arenas: Ah ! That's interesting. I didn't know that. That's called "the dilemma of porcupine"? I wonder if the artist was using that.

Participant: It reminds me of that because of the fur in the back and of the pointy.

Arenas: Very good. But these are humans. So how will you apply that idea to the concept of human?

Interpreter: The saying itself is so about humans.

Arenas: Yes. I realize that.

Participant: It's us that are like that, which is, the saying uses the example of a porcupine.

Arenas: What do you think of that? This could be but it doesn't have to be the only thing that this work is about, right? What else thing comes to your mind?

Participant: That one reminded me of Japanese salary men, in a way, not those two but this one, when they do business talk, they have a soft inside and they try to communicate, but they have their hiding fronts so that's really a nice communication.

Arenas: I like this interpretation.

Arenas: What else ? You can add to these or say something else.

Arenas: Michiko.

Participant: You can always shake hands or hold somebody's hand but you never know when you might hurt somebody or somebody might hurt you. That's what I feel.

Arenas: I see. Holding hands, shaking hands, play, it's so conventional ways of our relationships. But you don't know what can happen in these relationships in a deeper sense.

Arenas: What else ?

Arenas: I don't see it very negative, but maybe I'm pretty sick. I see there, I don't know, more, as a representation, intensity of relationships. Of all these things that come out of this energy, this force comes out of people when they want to connect.

Arenas: But, you know, in the other hand, these are weapon-like spikes that are coming out of that. So this intensity of communication can also be threatening.

Arenas: For example, what are things that come to your mind when you think of the material of these, that means, it could have been made in clay or in wood, it's made in this very clear metal.

Arenas: As what we interpret works of art has a lot to do with materials, although sometimes you're even unaware of the materials.

Arenas: What does this material make you think of ?

Participant: The material is hard and cold, it's a very clear juxtaposition.

Arenas: OK. So this is a real contrast between the warmth of the inside and the coldness and the hardness of the outside.

Arenas: So, what else ?

Arenas: Tell me more about the metal of the outside. What do you think? What does this look like to you?

Arenas: You're not sure?

Participant: I'm not sure.

Arenas: Well, anything else that you wanna say about this ? I think this is a helpful work. I'm sure you have more things to say.

Arenas: Very quiet ! The group that I had there at eleven was not quiet.

Participant: Just like the Terminator 2, metals can be melted down and built up again. Passions and emotions can be melted down and changed, too.

Participant: That one, the first one, I agree with her that it is shaking hands with those they don't like, and that one looks like a lover, looking this place, that one, but I can feel the shoulder. According hands display.

Participant: It just like me-too of before, just like the mother and her child. Mother has bigger power . The child is trying to get her attention but the force of the mother is very strong.

Arenas: Very good. Anything else?

Participant: The metal as medium looks cool and nice. It's different from plastic. The material is really attractive. It's nothing like that. I like its color, too.

Arenas: Well, you know, the warriors of the middle ages and before, when they used armoirs, they were both very attractive , very roaring and also very threatening at the same time.

Participant: The two elements of it are really attractive. The androids in the middle ages are really attractive, too.

Arenas: Yes. A little S and M, I think.

Arenas: There's a little bit pull and push at the same time. You're attracted and you're repelled by it. You're threatened and you're seduced by it.

Arenas: But that's our relationships of our lives, right? Managing the delicate play of power.


Arenas: (Has anybody) seen this part of the exhibition and read everything?

Arenas: You haven't ? One, two, three, four... That'it? OK. So, I'm gonna ask you to take some time and read these. One of the people who have already saw it would volunteer to get inside of the trailer room?

Arenas: Have you got inside of the trailer? You haven't? Come in.

Arenas: Would you like to?

Arenas: Seat and sit back. Not like that, like that. Then, later, you're gonna come out and you're gonna tell us what it was like, because we cannot wait every single person doing that.

Arenas: OK? Come on.

Arenas: Lean back and relax. We'll call you in ten minutes. Ten minutes. OK? Bye!

Arenas: The rest of you, I would like you very much to take a look at this exhibition in silence, reading the texts and looking at the elements that compose each one of the vignettes of the installation.


Arenas: (When we saw the photo of) Cindy Sherman, the word "beautiful"came out several times. We've made a mistake in trying to explain it in quest of what this word may be in general.

Arenas: You would have to come here to see just how incredibly varied this concept of "beautiful"might have been.

Arenas: So let's wrap our discussion here, because it's a very appropriate place to ending.

Arenas: And we're gonna rescue our prisoner. Let's start by asking our prisoner.

Arenas: What was it like? Loud so that all can hear. Describe exactly what was going on.

Participant: I enter, there's nothing that I can rely on, and I feel like my ears become really big because I has to rely on myself. I try to gather information from all around me. It's almost like a panic.

Participant: I hear a lot of things than usual. I try not to lose any sense of hearings.

Participant: After three minutes, there is light coming out. Gradually, the darkness becomes thicker.

Participant: It gets darker and darker, I feel that I'm all alone by myself as if all those darkness left me out.

Participant: Then there is a flash again.

Participant: Somehow I felt a wrap of arms wrapped me. I felt like I was wrapped in the cosmos. I entered from indescribability to peacefulness.

Arenas: Ah-ha ! So you went different rounds of emotion.

Participant: Yes.

Arenas: Anybody else here has been there? Raise your hands.

Arenas: Ogasawara and who else? Would you tell us your experience briefly? How was that experience?

Participant: It was two years ago. When I entered, I lost sight and I had to feel inwards enveloped, feel her body was still there.

Arenas: You had to touch yourself. Very good. Who else? You and you, right?

Participant: I entered after I saw this, after I read all those things, where the artist explains that woman's breast looks like soft. I was in there and touched it as the artist did and it was still hard. He couldn't feel anything soft as the artist described it. He thought maybe the blind people would have felt not like what we have felt.

Arenas: Ah-ha. Used to flavor-rich senses and imaginations. What do you do for living?

Participant: I work at the bank.

Arenas: No way !!

Participant: Although I touch the sculpture, very nice statue of a woman, I don't feel like a woman, because I'm used to touch the real woman. I can't feel the warmth and I'm wondering about that.

Arenas: So both being there and reading the sayings have made you really consider your feelings and your sensations and have you go about the world and have you constructed.

Participant: Right.

Arenas: We don't think about these things. We go about the world feeling and seeing, smelling and touching without being aware of all of these things that we do and how they affect our sense of the world.

Arenas: One of the things that Art does is to create artificial situations in which we would experience these things very consciously.

Arenas: Ah! You had something else.

Participant: In the usual darkness if you put your hands postured you can feel it and you can see it. And there I can't see anything but when I place my hand and put it on my face, I can feel the heat of the hand. I use my hand this way and this, then I feel it.

Arenas: You would never do these things in your everyday life. I bet you never knew that there was energy coming out of your hands. Or you knew it, but never had really experienced.

Arenas: All right. Thank you very much.

Arenas: What about this thing that the people born without seeing said about "beautiful"?

Arenas: Michiko.

Participant: I saw those pieces two years ago, too. When I read all these things, I was shocked at all the descriptions so visual, like "horizon", "green", which isn't seen by themselves. What they talk about beauty is so visual, which is really impressive for me.

Participant: Although the label says that she talked to the people who was born blind, but without that knowledge, if we read these things, we could always think of somebody who has sight.

Arenas: So you didn't find much difference between you and them.

Participant: The difference was that they might have some kind of sense and ability that we don't have.

Arenas: Maybe we have some sense and ability that we don't know we have. That's how he discovered the warmth of his hands.

Arenas: Perhaps being blind intensifies to make them feel and imagine.

Interpreter: But it's still enough to be very visual, so that somebody, very next to a blind person, there must be somebody who explains the world. And this person might say this is beautiful and maybe that's a fact of them, sometimes.

Arenas: That happens to me sometimes. You don't have to be blind for that.

Arenas: People share experiences with you, that end up persuading you of the beauty of these experiences.

Arenas: Of all these things, people aren't stupid.

Arenas: What is moving to me in the words of participation is how much there is of desire behind beauty.

Arenas: Seeing is not just seeing. It is wanting to see. It's seeking to see.

Arenas: Anybody else ?

Participant: I recognize that beauty is not about seeing or not seeing. It doesn't make any difference if people are blind.

Arenas: Anybody else ?

Participant: I see two types of beauty about the sculpture, one is that some people touch something and feel it's beautiful, and other people hear things and think it's beautiful. But for me, this person who touches something and sees it as beautiful is more touching to me.

Arenas: I agree. It's moving anyway, when anybody tries to describe "beautiful", because if people describe "beautiful", they are really inevitably talking what are themselves.

Arenas: You have raised your hand up ?

Participant: When I stand in front of Alain Delon there, I would think that it's just a photo of Alain Delon, but for her, there is probably some magnificent Alain Delon existing in her mind, and that's interesting to imagine about it.

Arenas: That's the same of every fan. So it's interesting, yes or no, it's always a pull and push between what is different, what's the same between us and them.

Arenas: Because it has so many to do with what she's heard and what she wants to imagine about Alain Delon. Anybody who is a fan of Alain Delon or of the Greatful Dead or whatever, he's responding not just to an image but responding to whole branches of its factors.

Arenas: Anyway, I will not have enough time. This is a good point to end because this is a great point to continue.

Arenas: Because the subjects of this exhibition, and the subject of this area in particular, and the subject of the Modern Art, really can be summarized by a concern with the self. What is this self? Inquiry. What is Art? That is truly what's modern for the Modern Art. You won't find this in the Art of the past, really.

Arenas: We think of ourselves, modern people think of themselves, as interesting or not to be the subject of Art. And it is this, our experience as modern people that matters for Modern Art. Not abstraction, nor installation, nor performance art. That's secondary. What's most important is this shift of the tension from Gods and Kings and Ethics to the question of "what is this all about ?", "what is the experience of people all about ?"

Arenas: So, I'm gonna go. Arigato-gozaimasu.



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Edited by Haruka KITAURA, haruka@bolero.plala.or.jp

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