“history in art” pop up show at MKG

Feb 4 (Sat.) - Mar 4 (Sat.), 2017

MAHO KUBOTA GALLERY is pleased to announce an exhibition featuring the findings of research by contemporary art study collective, History in Art. The exhibition brings together the group’s work of discussions and other practices that shine the light of artistic expression on aspects of history that have not been written about or discussed in public before.

History in Art is a study collective made up of artists, critics, and others engaged with art in various forms. Its name is derived from the book Geschichte im Gedächtnis (History in Memory) by German historian Aleida Assmann (b. 1947). A reading group in 2013 that discussed Assmann’s book led to the formation of the collective.
In Geschichte im Gedächtnis, Assmann attempts to find history in things that are fragile and not left behind in concrete form, such as stories in memories, experiences, and verbal communication. She interprets as history things not previously considered to be part of the historical record. Examples include the awkward mood that spreads throughout a family get-together when the father speaks excitedly about war, or the experience of performing a historical play about a famous event in history such as the birth of Christ or the campaigns of Napoleon.

Beginning with Assmann’s work, History in Art has, of course, considered a variety of phenomena as it has pondered how to interpret history from various perspectives with respect to art. The approach of imagining events of the past based on historical records, and then creating art based on those imaginings is very different from the approach taken by traditional historical studies, and provides a reference for the group as it explores ways to think about things that one hasn’t experienced and events one couldn’t have known about, and considers how to interpret them in order to make them easier to contemplate. In addition to activities conducted as a group, such as readings and discussions, History in Art is engaged in presenting the art and writings of individual artists and critics who are members of the group, and in the planning of projects and exhibitions. This exhibition incorporates activities of both the group and individual members.

History in Art
History in Art is a study collective comprising artists, critics, and others engaged with art in various forms, who came together in 2013 at the instigation of art critic Atsushi Sugita and others. The collective began as a club reading works by German historian, Aleida Assmann, and conducts group discussions and screenings. Seven members are involved in this exhibition.

Show Participating Members
Daisuke Awata (critic), Yuki Iiyama (artist), Fumio Inoue (organizer), Mai Endo (artist/actor), Atsushi Sugita (critic), Kana Takahashi (curator), Chihiro Yuasa (artist), Akira Rachi(artist)

With the cooperation of
TARO NASU, WAITINGROOM, Yoshihisa Otani, Yasuto Masumoto, Meiro Koizumi