Krakowiak for Post MoMA
#photography & visual arts
small, Krakowiak for Post MoMA, schemat krakowiak_7096869.jpg
Katarzyna Krakowiak has created a project devoted to the Sogetsu Art Center in Tokyo, as part of the MoMA’s Post online-research platform
Post ("post:notes on modern and contemporary art around the globe") is a digital platform devoted to studies of experimental art of the 20th and 21st centuries, presented through a variety of text- and image-based media. Released by the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, it functions as a fusion of online diary, archive, exhibition space and an open forum that makes the most of the hierarchy-free Internet environment, and opens itself up for experts and artists from all over the world to share their research knowledge, concepts and critical opinions.
The point of departure for Post are MoMA’s critical investigations, with an emphasis on those carried out by C-MAP, the Contemporary and Modern Art Perspectives in a Global Age Initiative (started in 2009). The online platform was launched in February 2013 and aims to question definitions of modernism in terms of early 20th-century Western avant-gardes. Its areas of focus involve East Central Europe, Central Asia (especially Japan), and Latin America. One member of the C-MAP research group is the Polish art historian Magdalena Moskalewicz.
Katarzyna Krakowiak, Acoustic Model, in collaboration with Andrzej K. Kłosak / archAKUSTIK, 2013, image courtesy of the artist
The artist Katarzyna Krakowiak has been invited to take part in Post activities. Krakowiak bases her practise on exploring the inconspicuous relationships between sound and architecture. On this occasion, she created a research project devoted to the modernist building of Sogetsu Art Center (SAC) in Tokyo.
The building designed by Kenzo Tange was built in 1957 for Sogetsu ikebana school (Japanese art of flower arrangement, with the school established 30 years earlier by Teshigara Sofu). In between 1958 and 1971 the building simultaneously served the Sogetsu Art Center, a hub for modern art and music, set up by Hiroshi Sofu, Teshigara's son. While the upper floors of the buildings were used as classrooms for the silent lessons of ikebana, the concert hall situated below served the most experimental - and noisy - musical experiments of the time. It is this architectural co-existence of the two very different models of art and sound production that Katarzyna Krakowiak problematizes in her project - Magdalena Moskalewicz says to Culture.pl.
SAC has been recognized as a key venue for experimental activities in Japan from 1958 to 1971. Katarzyna Krakowiak talks about her project with Culture.pl:
John Cage was working in the basement of the building at the turn of 1959, with the Ikebana School located above his head. In my project, I have pictured the relationship between these two acoustic environments – the resonance box underground and sounds it was transferring to the silent, meditative space above, where flower compositions would be carefully put together. Using archival photographs, I reconstructed the building. I was trying to listen closely to it. I removed all the functional spaces for the sake of this project: stairs, bathrooms or the lift, turning the building into an abstract form designated for sound distribution.
Krakowiak’s piece, When a Stem Breaks the Water…, comprises animations picturing the movement of sound inside the building and following its path, and a scale drawing showing a 1:1 detail of the building – the so-called “spirit of the staircase”, the empty space between the steps.
The Acoustic Model can be viewed here
Sources: post, artist’s materials, own materials
Author: Agnieszka Sural, 17.09.2013. transl. with edits: AM 18.09.2013