The 7th edition of the Yokohama Triennale begins with the launch of a print and digital publication, Sourcebook, which introduces the sources that the Artistic Directors of this edition—Raqs Media Collective—have convened in the process of their curatorial investigation.
Yokohama Triennale will commence with Episōdo 00, “Sharing Our Sources.” The periodic occurrences of the Episōdos will travel through Hong Kong, New Delhi, and Johannesburg before returning to Yokohama during the exhibition phase of the Triennale, starting July 3, 2020.
Raqs argues that exhibitions are milieux, staged and ported within complexities. Complexities are entanglements of material, technical, and social forces, often with an uncertain compass, generally incomprehensible, sometimes intelligible. Formed of stratified sediments, hibernating worlds and immediate urgencies, complexities also contain multiple milieux.
These milieux are thickets of affective and conceptual densities, with unreachable edges. Milieux are emergent formations, contingent and perforated, open to historical drifts and lesions, sometimes escaping human agency, begetting extra-human presences.
Exhibitions partake in the making of milieux through creating their own specificities of sources. It is through sources that a heterogeneity of contending time horizons can nest within a milieu. These sources are particular, minor, moments in the human voyage. In their re-alignment and re-drawing through each other, they suspend a frame of co-habitation and transferal between protagonists.
This Sourcebook’s gathering of sources embraces a formation of a milieu with notions of care, toxicity, auto-didacticism, friendship, luminosity, persistence and radiance — all of which come together in a way that helps make sense of the now, in the now. A Triennial is not a unity that is searched for and consolidated, but a plurality of complexities, each drawing from and into the other, vibrating divergent and convergent lines. The Sourcebook registers this attitude and records this as the curatorial framework’s awareness of itself. One source opens the door to another, and then another, and another.
The Sourcebook learns from Nishikawa Kimitsu, a Yokohama day labourer who embodies what it means to be a curious sojourner, an autodidact adrift in the universe. Elsewhere, it gleans from two itineraries back in time with points of origin elsewhere in space, on how to care for the self and for selves: In 16th century Southern India, heavenly bodies, plants, minerals, animals and angels crowd the Deccani book Nujum al ’ulum (Stars of the Sciences) written as a ‘medicine to care for the lives of friends’. And then, a hundred odd years ago, Hariprabha Mallik leaves a town in what is now Bangladesh, travels to Japan for the love of a stranger, Takeda Uemon. Her memoir dives into the creation of the farm and the kitchen as she traverses another world.
Nishikawa’s musings that connect the street to the cosmos, the many forms of life and matter thought of as “friends” in the 16th century Deccani manuscript, and Hariprabha Takeda’s journey all light up different corners of consciousness. They point to energies that irradiate the co-existence of complex forms of life. The biologist Shimomura Osamu spends a lifetime of research being lit by the phenomenon of bio-luminescence. The theorist and writer Svetlana Boym seeks the luminosity of friendship in her essay, “The Scenography of Friendship.”
The Sourcebook places in proximity these excerpts in order to know, to hold and behold, an egalitarian, non-rivalrous stance between divergent, and occasionally even contrary, arcs of making, vision, and utterance. It desires them into becoming contagious and contiguous with each other, to create eddies and currents of energy that stretch the Yokohama Triennial’s temporal rhythms, and its semantic field.
Episōdo 00 will commence with a meditation on the haunted life of information, and proceed further to enquire into the poetics of retention, the endurance of bodily composure, the chaos of consciousness, and culminate with a face-to-face encounter with entropy.
The readings, soundings and afterimages presented in the autumnal light of the November Episōdo inaugurate and anticipate what is to come in the midsummer afterglow at the opening of the seventh edition of the Yokohama Triennale in July 2020.
Artists in Episōdo 00: Shintaku Kanako, Tamura Yuichiro, Ivana Franke, Lantian Xie, and Hicham Berrada with Komatsu Kazumichi
Sourcebook Design: Ariane Spanier