Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Shibuya Reality Tour- Monday

At the opening of Double Vision the current show at Tokyo WS Shibuya a group of artists from one of the art schools in Tokyo made a work called Shibuya reality tour. I was pretty interested how this would compare to Squatspace's ongoing project about the Redfern/Waterloo area of Sydney called Tour of Beauty. There was some social commentary, but more at a tangent, like when we drove under the rail and road overpass and saw the cardboard city. It was 200 metre from where I walk past nearly every second day but I had no idea it was there.
At two points we were broken up into groups of six and wound our way through the small streets of Shibuya. The tour sometimes pointed out historical interest, like the buildings covers in tin- a precaution against fire and earthquake, adopted for a short period after the 1923 earthquake; found installations like a garden of pot plants in front of a garage roller door, or a broom hanging from a lamppost; and at other times inserting an event or performance. Like when we went upstairs to a Hula dancing school and watched a singer perform in the empty lot below, with the sound amplified in the school only. This was a little surreal, as we had watched Hula Girls the night before at movie night in the artists’ residences.
The highlight for me was an intervention where the students had set up a professional film crew and where filming a scene where one of the French students was asking for directions, the camera angle is quiet wide so you see the boom operator and stage lights and generator. We encounter this as we stumbled out a very small alley directly into the film scene. It was a disorienting moment till you work out its part of the performance. When we arrived back at the gallery we entered to find this “film” being played with each small group emerging, and stumbling around. It was a really nice way to see ourselves as performers and not just consumers. An extra performative level was added when Åbäke handed around, to the silent audience watching the film, beer cans covered with a scan of Mountain Dew can, the room was filled with crack-ppssst of beers opening.


  1. this sounds great raq. love the idea of a 'reality tour'. so weird and interesting concept. (especially since you found some aspects of the tour not 'real' but 'surreal'...

  2. oh and the tour guides are so dapper!

  3. Intoxicating good fun. Beer with mountain dew labels! Thats art.

  4. I was meaning to compare it to the Tour of Beauty and have now added some extra to the post and linked to Squatsapce blog.

    the show I guess was suggested in part by the French art school as there is that anxiety about hyper-modernity and the types of societies and social organisations develop in these contexts. So of the works had something interesting to say about that, but I think this response from the Tokyo art students was interesting about there own city.

    The tour guides are performers (and I guess artists)- not the organising artists.

  5. reality and fiction was the theme to deal with this hyper-modernity.