Arrival Zone - Vapour Trail - Departure Zone
arrival zone / departure zone took place at the airport immediately after arrival and before departure – vapor trail took place in the middle of the week in the middle of Tokyo, 2007
Immediately after having set foot on Japanese soil, Klara Schilliger and Valerian Maly greeted passengers arriving from various international and national destinations with signs and flowers, as is customary in the arrivals hall where hotel bellboys or chauffeurs come to pick up their new guests. But instead of surnames and places of lodging, the signboards were inscribed with words from everyday life such as “death”, “money” or “love”, the names of famous foreign personalities who have influenced Japanese history, as well as popular and unpopular Japanese public figures. The result was a continuous “name and term dropping” from history to the present, from slang to more specialized names and terms (such as “Admiral Mathew Perry”, “Marcel Duchamp” or “bubble economy”. A quiet performance. Poetic, but not without provocation.
The two Swiss artists arrived in Tokyo with very heavy luggage: their suitcases were filled with stones from the Aare, the river that flows through their home city. In Tokyo, they had the stones frozen into two blocks of ice. In the square in front of the Shimbashi Station – the busiest train station in Tokyo – the artists set to work on a large imaginary symbol. They dragged the blocks of ice with the stones frozen inside it over the square: Valerian Maly carried his on his back while Klara Schilliger pulled hers along on a cord. With the water from the melting blocks of ice and the stones falling from them, they gradually drew a path – in the form of a pentagram – in the metropolis of Tokyo. Trails of condensation. As in heaven, so on earth.
Whereas “arrival zone” was a quiet performance – consisting only of signboards inscribed with names and words being held aloft – the performance “departure zone” was acoustic “sound poetry”. Klara Schilliger and Valerian Maly took leave of Japan with names and words that they learned in Tokyo. Inside their jacket pockets, they also had with them photos clipped from the daily newspapers along with gold leaf. While calling out the words they learned in the departure hall, little by little, they took the picture material and the gold leaf from their pockets, and, gently blowing it away from their open, flat hands, let it float into the airport concourse.
Fotos: ©Yoshinori Niwa, Tokyo