Artist Portrait: anticool. Commissioned by DARE DARE 2008 from Nika Khanjani on Vimeo.
Working in collaboration with Montreal band Duchess Says, anti-cool creates an auto-didactic remix of their song Ccut up. One after another the band's members, A-Claude, Ismael, Phil and Simon Says, are all replaced by anti-cool whose power-suited rendition of the song proves no less mesmerizing than the original. Taking over on guitar, drums, keyboards and vocals, she infuses the song with a frantic enthusiasm that makes it entirely her own.Lone orchestra is a record, not only a song as it appears in alternate universes, but also of the kind of apprenticeship that can evolve within musical communities where imitation and appropriation are part of the DNA of friendship. For anti-cool, the blurring of boundaries between individuals through sweet imitation and mirror image offers a chance to learn, understand and grow close. Through a series of such substitution projects she has become a newspaper salesman, waitress, wormer, language teacher and 'ladyfisherman'.anti-cool (Japan) is an interdisciplinary artist working primarily in performance and installation art. She was born in Kanagawa, Japan and has been performing internationally since participating in NIPAF ‘00 at Kid Ailack Art Hall in Tokyo, in 2000. Exhibitions of her work have taken place at the Battersea Arts Center (London, UK), Festival of Live Art (Glasgow), International Performance Festival (Odense, Denmark), Plattform Raum fur Kunst (Vienna), Singapore Art Museum (Singapore), CAFKA (Kitchener, Ontario) and Dare-Dare (Montreal).Anti-Cool onlinewww.artgene.co.uk/artist.php?i=15www.kuspace.org/map_of_meanings_pt_engl.htmwww.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=4842594994818823555&postID=3957803181508678131
Japanese art in ViennaThe project MAP OF MEANINGS provides six Japanese artists from various artistic genres including film, photography, video, fine arts, music and performance art with an opportunity to conduct intercultural studies in Vienna as part of an `artist-in-residence` project.The artistic results presented reflect the project participants` confrontation with the `meanings` and `practices` of everyday life in Vienna as well as their experience with the local art scene interpreted against their individual backgrounds.This exhibition is produced by kuspace association as a contribution to the Japan-Year held across the European Union in 2005.About the projectMap of Meanings deals with the meanings and practices of everyday life, in other words with the way daily activities and rituals, for example TV watching, cooking and eating, greeting or celebrating are dealt with in different cultures.Within the context of cultural studies, described by the English cultural historian and sociologist Raymond Williams (1921–1988) as `a particular life style of individuals or during a particular period or of a group of people` (Culture and Society), not only the written word but also film, video, fine arts, music, dance and performance art have proved to be suitable means of presentation.Three `artist-in-residence` projects provide two Japanese artists respectively with the opportunity to spend one month together in Vienna. The close contact with local citizens creates the possibility to integrate their individual experiences with the meaning and practice of daily life in Central Europe.Map of Meanings IThe `artist-in-residence` project starts with two female artists, Minako Saitoh and anti-cool (Tomoko Takahashi). In large format photographs accompanied by short texts Minako Saitoh shows gloomy views from windows in psychiatric clinics (the windows being made of thick plastic boards) leaving the viewer with feelings of isolation and hopelessness. These photographs can be seen as an urgent message about social relations in a more and more performance-oriented society bound to suffocate individuality through the mechanisms of commercialisation, creating a growing feeling of helplessness and depersonalisation in an increasingly alienated environment.In a similar way, dealing with the unfamiliar and the different is central to Tomoko Takahashi`s work 'An Ideal Foreigner in Vienna'. Inspired by the poster campaign of a well-known local politician, anti-cool –as she calls herself- is going to explore the image of the `ideal foreigner` held by the locals and to document her findings on video.The work will be accompanied by several performances and a series of photographs with political comments about the image of foreigners living in Vienna taken from the local press.A catalogue about the project `Map of Meanings` will be published by the end of 2005, documenting all three exhibitions and providing a transcription of the artist talks scheduled to be held during the exhibitions.www.kuspace.org
Drunken art show in the balanceA performance artist's show which saw her spend three hours balancing on a beam while becoming drunk on lager has been defended by theatre officials.The Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff staged the work in its public bar by Tokyo-based Tomoko Takahashi, who is also known as Anti-Cool. Initially some people found the image of Anti-Cool beginning to drink bottles of beer elevated on a balancing beam unsettling," he said."There were 48 bottles, but she did not drink all of those. Some of those she suspended from her neck by a rope inviting the audience to cut them away and take them for themselves."As the evening progressed, the public became very aware of her, many in empathy, many concerned for her safety."Mr Tyson said her behaviour showed "extraordinary self-control," adding: "She was drunk by the end of the performance but that made it more mesmerising for the audience to watch." news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/4376884.stm
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