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Lampedusa, photographic installation, Durst Lambda prints on paper on Dibonds panels, each dimension cm. 50×70, total dim. cm. 110×900, 2005.

How To Reach Lampedusa (with Takuji Kogo), Shockwave Flash Movie 7’50”, 1024×768 pixel, 2005-07.

Migration is a thing of all ages. Where Europeans once colonized various continents and emigrated en masse to other lands both in and beyond their own continent, movement from the opposite direction has now taken hold. Capital, goods and information circulate freely in the late-capitalist, globalized world economy. For people, however, mobility is arranged somewhat differently. Borders and territories are still the primary expression of national sovereignty, however multi ethnic populations may have become. For Europe – which permanently shifts between regulating, even attracting, and then repelling strangers – these are the outer borders, the so-called Schengenland regions […]

Installation view at the group show 'A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Fear and Terror' at the galleria gentili, Prato 2010.

Installation view at the group show ‘A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Fear and Terror’ at the galleria gentili, Prato 2010.

Federico Baronello and Takuji Kogo indicate how, on the Italian island of Lampedusa, the reality of tourism runs hand in hand with that of asylum seekers, being repatriated or otherwise, without the two worlds ever touching […] Lampedusa is Italy’s most southern holiday resort-island. In recent years there has been a massive, non-stop stream of North-African refugees trying to illegally reach the island/Europe by boat. The CPTA (Centro di Permanenza Temporanea e Assitenza) is an expatriation centre close to the airport. It functions as an arrival hall for tourists, as well as a departure hall for repatriating rejected asylum seekers to Libya. Part of the island’s cemetery is reserved as a final resting place for refugees who do not survive the Mediterranean crossing. In their work both Kogo and Baronello resist the temptation of ideological criticism, looking instead for the best possible way to express the existing reality. All of the political messages which spring from this must be seen as inherent to the original material and the cultural situation. Their art is rather a testimony of a realistic, or ideological picture of the future.

Installation view at 'A Philosophical Enquiry into...' at the galleria gentili, Prato 2010.

Installation view at ‘A Philosophical Enquiry into…’ at the galleria gentili, Prato 2010.

This work shows the discrepancy between the idyll of Lampedusa as a holiday resort and the raw reality of the island as a final destination for the bodies of African boat refugees. By arranging alternating images of both, formerly “innocent” ideas of beach and sun, usually associated with easygoing fun, are given a wry undertone. The existence of another landscape (nameless crosses) urges the viewer to think things over. Therefore the island can also be seen as a prototype of an all but apolitical leisure industry. How To Reach Lampedusa indicates the transformation of Lampedusa from a fishermen’s island to a port of migration for refugees and tourists, the signs and the change in the landscape brought about by their transition. Images were recorded during a visit to the island in 2005.

Paul Willemsen text for the exhibition catalogue of ‘No Place – Like Home. Perspectives On Migration In Europe’, Argos Centre For Art & Media, Brussels 2008.

How To Reach Lampedusa (with Takuji Kogo) View of the video installation at the exhibition 'A Philosophical Enquiry into...', galleria gentili, Prato 2010.

How To Reach Lampedusa (with Takuji Kogo)
View of the video installation at the exhibition ‘A Philosophical Enquiry into…’, galleria gentili, Prato 2010.

According to Plato and Aristotle, philosophy came into being with Thauma. Usually this Greek word (and its verb, thaumazein) is translated as ‘wonder’, but it has various different meanings, and Plato himself made reference to them. Thauma is also speechless wonder, shock and also, finally, fear and terror. Philosophy started with wonder (the shock but also the fear), which is a pathos, and ends up being speechless, beyond words. Commenting on this initial fear-wonder of philosophy, Kierkegaard said that what was involved was an experience of ‘no-thing’: essentially an experience of nothingness. A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful (1757) by Edmund Burke talks of the ‘beautiful’ and of the ‘sublime’. This important ‘physiological’ treatise (as Kant described it) also, indeed above all, ‘speaks’ of ‘fear’ and ‘terror’ as speechless wonder. Burke (and subsequently all the writers on aesthetics) offers us an artistic visualization of this experience (pathos) of fear. With the historic avant-garde movements and with modernism, which shifted the geography of art from the beautiful to the sublime, fear became a central aspect of artistic language. Fear (terror) became a linguistic element of artistic experience; an experience of nothingness. The 20th century and the contemporary age thus ‘adopted’ fear (and terror), both as structural elements of ‘practicing and thinking art’ and as a ‘reflection’ of a general psychological, social and political condition (general intellect). In another psychic-physiological treatise, ‘Beyond the Pleasure Principle’ (1920), Freud describes three types of ‘fear’: fright (Schreck), fear (Furcht) and anguish (Angst). If anguish constitutes a kind of protection and preparation in the face of danger, fear and fright describe a condition of ‘wonder’ in the presence or absence of the object that causes apprehension. In this case psychoanalysis is a parallel world to the philosophical and artistic one, in which fear is, in the final analysis, an experience of ‘no-thing’. From a social and political point of view, one only has to think of the various derivatives of the word ‘terror’, including ‘terrorism’. The aim of the exhibition Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of Fear and Terror is to show how fear is ‘an expressive form’ of the language of contemporary art (starting with modernism and modernity), and, at the same time, how this specific language engages with that of society nowadays, in which ‘fear’ and ‘terror’ (and their manipulations) are key aspect of our being in the world today.

Helmut Friedel and Giovanni Iovane, text for the group show A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Fear and Terror at galleria gentili, Prato 2010.

*Mondo Arata, documentary movie, SD 12′, 2002.

The Akiyoshidai International Art Village (AIAV) centre for music, dance and visual arts, a costly complex of buildings with a kind of uncanny resemblance to German ’30s aesthetic, may be the most controversial work made by the world famous architect Arata Isozaki. The movie camera leads us through dichotomies: the architectural space and intervention of Myke Bode and Takuji Kogo, the interview excerpts by the architect Isozaki and the art critic Staffan Schmidt, transforming on the way the reportage into a thriller with a second hidden finale.

The documentary, produced for the AIAV exhibition and residence programme TRANS_2002-2003, may be a criticism on certain architecture that is the protagonist of urban development affecting much of the Asian continent in recent years.

*Mondo Arata, 2002. Still from digital video, length 12'.

*Mondo Arata, still from the movie.

*Candy Factory Projects

*CANDY FACTORY PROJECTS is a Japanese based platform for international collaborative multimedia based art projects, a mobile art institution, organizing curatorial projects, exhibitions, web projects and publications based on long term collaborations.

Takuji Kogo, *CFP founder, has worked and developed projects with artists such as Thomas Bayrle, Federico Baronello, Mike Bode, Young Hae Chang Heavy Industries, Charles Lim Yi Yong, Keiichi Miyagawa, John Miller, Ola Pehrson and Sean Snyder. They transform standardized everyday life and the distorted landscape of the global economy into digital kaleidoscopes presented as pavilion sculpture using multi computer projections.

Federico Baronello has been a member of the Candy Factory Projects since 1999 and produced:

'Online Ads' from Kitakyushu Biennial World Tour 2013, installation view at the Olica Phone Center, Catania 2013.

‘Online Advertisements (from #1 till #13)’, short ad messages to learn Italian / Japanese while singing and having fun.
Installation view from Kitakyushu Biennial World Tour 2013 at the Olica Phone Center, Catania.

ONLINE_ADS_1

ʻOnline Adsʼ (with Takuji Kogo), installation view at *Candy Factory Projects in Rome, AuditoriumArte – Rome 2012.

Installation views of ʻOnline Adsʼ at *Candy Factory Projects in Rome, AuditoriumArte - Rome 2012.

ʻOnline Adsʼ (with Takuji Kogo), installation view at *Candy Factory Projects in Rome, AuditoriumArte – Rome 2012.

EUR (with Takuji Kogo), still from two Shockwave Flash movies, length 3'44'' and 4'34'', 2011.

‘EUR ROME’ (with Takuji Kogo), Arab Spring’s aftermath in Rome.
Still from two Shockwave Flash movies, length 3’44” and 4’34”, 2011.

'Vittoria', installation view at the group show 'IMIN' Kitakyushu Biennial, ex-JR Kyushu office bldg., Moji-Ko Kitakyushu (Japan).

‘Vittoria’ (with Takuji Kogo), a project about large scale Sicilian cherry tomato production backed by Romanian and Tunisian migrants.
Installation view at the group show ‘IMIN’ Kitakyushu Biennial, ex-JR Kyushu office bldg., Moji-Ko Kitakyushu, Japan 2009.

'Portopalo', installation view at the 'IMIN' KB.

‘Portopalo’, a comparative aesthetics between religions in the global age.
Installation view at the ‘IMIN’ KB 2009.

'Lampedusa (How To Reach)', installation view at the group show 'Cute or Creepy?' Kitakyushu Biennial, ex-JR Kyushu office bldg., Moji-Ko Kitakyushu, Japan 2007.

‘How to reach Lampedusa’ (with Takuji Kogo), a promotional video clip for the holiday resort on the border of Italy next to an African asylum seeker’s detention center.
Installation view at the group show ‘Cute or Creepy?’ Kitakyushu Biennial, ex-JR Kyushu office bldg., Moji-Ko Kitakyushu, Japan 2007.

'Librino New Town Project' (with Takuji Kogo), a re-mix and Japanese dubbing of a TV documentary about squatters in abandoned public housing project in Sicilia designed by the Japanese architect Kenzo Tange. Installation view at the group show Transformer (with Candy Factory), Akiyoshidai International Art Village, Yamaguchi, Japan 2005.

‘Librino New Town Project’ (with Takuji Kogo), a re-mix and Japanese dubbing of a TV documentary about squatters in abandoned public housing project in Sicilia designed by the Japanese architect Kenzo Tange.

librino@AIAV2

‘Librino New Town Project’ (with Takuji Kogo), installation view at the group show Transformer (with Candy Factory), Akiyoshidai International Art Village, Yamaguchi, Japan 2005.