A film presentation and discussion with artists Nina Fischer and Maroan el Sani
co-presented with the Goethe Institut, Toronto and OCAD University
Date: Friday, October 1
Time: 7:00 - 9:00 pm (doors open at 6:30)
Location: The Japan Foundation , Toronto
Address: 131 Bloor St. W. , 2nd floor of the Colonnade Building
Reservation required: www.jftor.org/whatson/rsvp.php or (416) 966-1600 x102
SAYONARA HASHIMA, 17 min, 2009 (Courtesy the artists and Galerie EIGEN+ART, Leipzig/Berlin)
Sayonara Hashima takes as its subject Hashima, an island off the coast of Japan with a fascinating history. Entirely manmade, the concrete island served as a coal-mining operation that, at its peak of operation, housed some 5000 inhabitants, at that time the most densely populated place on earth.
Abandoned in 1974, when its mineral resources had been exhausted, the island has since taken on a ghostly, mythic status in the national imagination, aided by its appearance in a Battle Royale II, a recent Japanese adventure/science fiction film. Nina Fischer & Maroan El Sani explore the changing roles of the island throughout its history, capturing the accounts not only of former inhabitants but also the current impressions of high school students of a place they know only indirectly through representations. As with many of Fischer & El Sani’s previous projects, Sayonara Hashima asks how memory operates, how a site wears its history, both physically and metaphorically.
About the Artists:
The Berlin-based art duo Nina Fischer & Maroan el Sani use film, photography, mixed-media installations and architecture to explore failed utopias. Also holding professorships in Japan , Fischer & el Sani have been featured in numerous exhibitions, including the Gwangju Biennale, the International Istanbul Biennale and the Sonar Sound Festival Tokyo. They illuminate urban culture, layers of civilization, life and decay, before turning to something completely different.
“Fischer and el Sani’s works radiate a willingness to submit everyday social phenomena to a roguish scrutiny. Their phenomena-hopping approach, which constantly switches contexts at the level of content and media, blows the artist-as-author into debris.” (Frieze, 1999)
Nina Fischer and Maroan el Sani are the CROSSMEDIAL Artists in Residence 2010.
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