When Lit­tle Things Mat­ter


Some artists have the abil­ity to turn sim­ple, ev­ery­day ac­tions into art. They put a frame around them, they iso­late them from their sur­round­ings, they cap­ture them in a photo, and sud­denly some­thing that would oth­er­wise go un­no­ticed be­comes a rea­son for us to re­flect on im­por­tant de­tails of our ex­is­tence. Ja­panese artist Koki Tanaka, who was re­cently awarded the ti­tle of Deutsche Bank Artist of the Year, is a mas­ter at ob­serv­ing the most in­signif­i­cant mat­ters and pre­sent­ing them as im­por­tant events in our lives. The 40-year- old artist be­came known in the late 1990s for his in­stal­la­tions in­cor­po­rat­ing ac­tors and ex­hi­bi­tion view­ers. At the Venice Bi­en­nale in 2013, Tanaka rep­re­sented his coun­try with a se­ries of in­stal­la­tions in­volv­ing teams of peo­ple per­form­ing the same ac­tion – a metaphor for the Fukushima catas­tro­phe and the need to form com­mu­ni­ties to over­come dam­age. Un­til 25 May, Tanaka’s work will be on dis­play at Deutsche Bank Kun­sthalle (p. 44).

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