The Deconstruction of SUNTOPIA


2008年9月。矢口はサントピア裏手にあった、取り壊し寸前の空き家を舞台に社会実践活動を開始。そこで「小料理喫茶ワシントン」&「かなりナウいショップ和心団」と名を冠した喫茶店と用品店の営業を始めます。その後、建物の取り壊しは延期されることとなり、喫茶・用品店の営業を継続しながら、ローカル新聞の発行や、小さなお祭りの開催、芸農事務所の運営など様々な活動を展開していきました。 しかし、2013年5月に小料理喫茶ワシントンの建物は、とうとう解体されることになります。矢口は、自ら竹の足場を組み、電動工具を一切用いず、全て手作業で解体を行うことで、建物の歴史や記憶を紐解いていきました。また建物内に残されていた家財道具や、解体時にでた廃材(木材、土壁、釘など)のほとんどを保存していきます。その解体風景は、1,500枚を超える白黒の銀塩写真に収められていきました。


2015年7月。矢口はこれまでの活動を纏めた『ワシントンドキュメンタリー図』の編纂を開始します。第一弾として、小料理喫茶ワシントン解体の一連のプロジェクトの記録写真を収めた「私のサントピアの解体 矢口克信」を同年9月に出版。同書は欧州の書店を中心に紹介され、ニューヨーク近代美術館(MoMA)にも収蔵されました。今回出版を目指す『サントピアの解体』はワシントンドキュメンタリー図の第2弾となります。


1978年茨城県生まれ。2004年から即興性の高いパフォーマンスを主体にヨーロッパで活動。2008年帰国後、水戸中心市街地にあった空き家を舞台に社会実践活動を開始。美術館やアートフェスティバルなど、体制的な環境を避けながら、表現の場を日常の中に求め続けてきた。国内での活動が9年目を迎える今年8月より、これまでの社会実践活動を長期的に検証していく事を目的にした『Earth Hole Film Festival』を、現代藝術センターで開催予定である。

A brief history of artistic activities by Katsunobu Yaguchi

In September 2008, Yaguchi initiated his social practices based in an empty house which was located at the back of the Suntopia and was on the verge of demolition. He opened a café and a general store there named “Cafe Snack Washingtown” & “Very Trendy Shop Washingtown.” His activities provided the chance for the building to escape demolition and the café/general store was able to continue its operation. He continued wide-ranging activities including issuance of a local newspaper, holding a small festival, and even running a talent agency. However, in May 2013, the Cafe Snack Washingtown building was finally ordered to be demolished. Yaguchi conducted its demolition work with his own hands with no electronic tools, scaffolding with bamboo, in order to carefully decipher the history and memory of the building. He also preserved almost all abandoned household goods and waste materials during demolition (lumber, clay walls, nails, etc.). The scene of the demolition work was recorded through over 1,500 black and white analog photographs.

Commence editing of the “Washingtown Documentaries”

In July 2015, Yaguchi began his editing of the “Washingtown Documentaries” which compiled his past activities. For the first shot, “Katsunobu Yaguchi: The Deconstruction of My Suntopia” was published in September 2015 which contained documentary photos of a series of projects concerning the demolition of the Cafe Snack Washingtown. This book was introduced mainly through European bookstores and became an accession of The Museum of Modern Art, New York (MoMA). “The Deconstruction of Suntopia,” aimed at publishing through this crowd-funded project, will be the second of the Washingtown Documentaries series.

Profile of Katsunobu Yaguchi

Born in Ibaraki Prefecture, 1978. He exhibited numerous art pieces around Europe since 2004 mainly through performances open to improvisation. After returning to Japan in 2008, he initiated his social practices based in an empty house he found at the center of the town of Mito. While keeping his distance from the environments belonging to the establishment, such as art museums and art festivals, he continued to quest for a stage for his artistic expression in the mundane and everyday world. In August 2017, the 9th year since he started working domestically, the “Earth Hole Film Festival,” aimed at examining his social practices on a long-term basis, will be held at the Washingtown Contemporary Art Centre (WACAC).