Anri Sala x Takashi Murakami Live Talk at Louis Vuitton Japan/ONE Omotesando

With his solo exhibition opening at Kaikai Kiki Gallery from October 14, 2011, Anri Sala took part in a live talk event with Takashi Murakami at Louis Vuitton Japan/ONE Omotesando.

In keeping with Sala’s comments that “the most fundamental form of human – to- human communication is carried out without language,” the event opened by showing Sala’s video works without explanation and then proceeded to the background on each piece, allow the audience to enjoy the progression of his work.

The talk portion of the event kicked off with Murakami explaining briefly about Anri Sala and his work, as well as how they came to know each other. Following that, Sala began telling his personal story as scenes from his works were projected on-screen. Murakami kicked things off by offering the following comments and advice: “When I first discovered his work, I was shocked at how it was able to touch on so many specifically ethnic themes and yet still retain a power that went beyond words. I would like you to view the films with an open mind.”

One of Sala’s early video works, “Intervista” (1998) focuses on the failure of language. The film is composed of old interview footage that Anri had found featuring his mother – the only catch was that the soundtrack was missing. In response, Anri decided to reproduce his mothers words via lip reading and the results led the artist to question language itself and to focus less on the verbal aspects of his creations.

“Air Cushioned Ride” (2006) was inspired by a chance incident that Sala experienced while driving in the US state of Arizona. The mixing radio waves of his vehicle and the others on the road caused two songs to fade in and out in alternating bursts. The contents of the broadcast would change every time a truck passed him by. Wth Air Cushioned Ride, Anri has captured this dramatic effect in the form of a short film.

In the following year, the artist commissioned a composer to transpose the music from the film into formal notation and the resulting sounds were reborn as a live performance: “A Spurious Emission” (2007). The piece captures the very moment when a sound is transformed into music and also encapsulates the relationship between music and space as seen by the artist.

“Answer Me” (2009)
This film features a “conversation” between a couple shot inside the abandoned geodesic dome in Berlin designed by Buckminster Fuller.

Speaking of the works that followed it, Murakami theorized that “as the meaning of each piece grows gradually divergent, we can actually experience the transition of ideas just as it took place in Anri’s own mind.” Indeed, the works left viewers feeling that they tangibly sense the artists’ thoughts.

While it went well over the allotted time, the talk turned out to be an important opportunity for everyone people to understand the ideas and interests behind Anri’s work. In closing, Sala offered some words on the works currently showing at Kaikai Kiki Gallery.

“They are the pieces that revolve around the co-relationship between music and architecture. A sound echoing inside a building will create a vibration. I am aiming to show how as the sounds gradually become music and resonates with the building, it eventually becomes something greater than a mere vibration and this something is beyond the excessiveness of language. I want people to experience this sensation for themselves.”

Anri Sala’s solo exhibition at Kaikai Kiki Gallery will be on until November 10. Please visit and experience Sala’s unique aesthetic world!