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安藤忠雄(Tadao Ando) Wrightwood 659オープン

 12月になり、今年も残すところわずかになってきました。シカゴでは11月早々に雪が積もり、最近では夜も氷点下になるくらい寒さが厳しくなっています。シカゴの緯度は北海道は函館に近いですが、Windy Cityと呼ばれるだけあり、風が強いので冬の体感温度はかなりなものです。それでもこの時期、米国はホリデーシーズン真っ只中で、週末になるとダウンタウンは買い物客や観光客でにぎわっています。

 さて、シカゴ観光では必ずトップリストに入るくらい建築ツアーは有名ですが、シカゴ市内で安藤忠雄氏による設計のギャラリー(WRIGHTWOOD 659)が10月にオープンしました。12月中旬まで杮落としの展覧会 (安藤忠雄-Le Coubuseier) が開催中です。建築に関して全く無知な筆者ですが、素人目線でレポートします。WRIGHTWOOD 659はダウンタウンから電車で20分ほど北に、リンカーンパーク近くの閑静な住宅街に位置します。安藤忠雄氏による建築物はNewYorkをはじめ数多くありますが、シカゴでの設計は、シカゴ美術館内のAndo Galleryに次ぎ2件目となります。概要ですが、全てが新たに設計された訳ではなく、築90年にもなるレンガ造りの3階建アパート外壁をそのままに、内装のほぼ全てが新たに設計されました。そのため、外からは一見してギャラリーとは気付かないくらい周りのアパートに溶け込んでいます。中に一歩足を踏み入れると、天井まで吹き抜けのロビーと3階まで通じるコンクリート造りの階段が出現し、年季の入ったレンガの温もりと無機質なコンクリートの質感がうまく調和し、開放的な空間になっています。また、窓も多いので、自然の光が心地よく建物の中に差し込み、ギャラリー内を歩いていても閉塞感がなく、心地よく作品を鑑賞できます。

rightwood 659, Location: Chicago, Illinois, Architect: Tadao Ando

Wrightwood 659, Location: Chicago, Illinois, Architect: Tadao Ando - All images courtesy of gallery © Jeff Goldberg/Esto

Wrightwood 659, Location: Chicago, Illinois, Architect: Tadao AndoWrightwood 659, Location: Chicago, Illinois, Architect: Tadao Ando

Wrightwood 659, Location: Chicago, Illinois, Architect: Tadao Ando

Wrightwood 659, Location: Chicago, Illinois, Architect: Tadao Ando

Wrightwood 659, Location: Chicago, Illinois, Architect: Tadao Ando

 開催中の展覧会(安藤忠雄-Le Coubuseier)は、安藤忠雄氏が建築家として初めて担当した大阪の長屋から、欧米をはじめ世界各地で設計された建築物まで、一連のデザイン画や、建設模型、動画のプロジェクションなど、歩きながら安藤氏のキャリアの道筋が辿れる様に段階的に展示されていました。また、手書きのデッサンや走り書き、手紙など貴重な資料も展示されており、デザイン画や模型だけの味気ない展覧会ではなく、じっくりと安藤忠雄氏の人柄や建築に対する世界観が垣間見れる展示となっています。2階ではLe Coubusierによる100点を超えるドローイングや絵画、建築物の写真、数十点のLe Coubusier建築のミニチュア模型などが展示されています。同ギャラリーでは今後も建築関係や、社会的に活動するアーティスト(socially engaged artists)に関連した展示が企画される様なので、今後非常に楽しみなギャラリーです。

rightwood 659, Location: Chicago, Illinois, Architect: Tadao Ando
Wrightwood 659, Location: Chicago, Illinois, Architect: Tadao Ando
Wrightwood 659, Location: Chicago, Illinois, Architect: Tadao Ando
Wrightwood 659, Location: Chicago, Illinois, Architect: Tadao Ando
Wrightwood 659, Location: Chicago, Illinois, Architect: Tadao Ando
Wrightwood 659, Location: Chicago, Illinois, Architect: Tadao Ando
Wrightwood 659, Location: Chicago, Illinois, Architect: Tadao Ando
Wrightwood 659, Location: Chicago, Illinois, Architect: Tadao Ando
Wrightwood 659, Location: Chicago, Illinois, Architect: Tadao Ando
Wrightwood 659, Location: Chicago, Illinois, Architect: Tadao Ando
Wrightwood 659, Location: Chicago, Illinois, Architect: Tadao Ando
Wrightwood 659, Location: Chicago, Illinois, Architect: Tadao Ando
Wrightwood 659, Location: Chicago, Illinois, Architect: Tadao Ando
Wrightwood 659, Location: Chicago, Illinois, Architect: Tadao Ando
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Dana Nechmadインタビュー

 それでは、最後にシカゴで活動するアーティストのインタビューを掲載します。今回はイスラエル出身でシカゴ美術館付属芸術大学院をこの春に卒業し、現在もシカゴで制作活動を続けるDana Nechmad氏に大学院生活や作品、シカゴでの生活などを伺いました。彼女の作品は染色や縫合を駆使した2D作品や、立体作品、ビデオ作品などバラエティの富みます。実験的な要素も多く、作品にはメッセージ性も強く込められており、見ていると知らないうちに彼女の独特の世界観に引き込まれていきます。New Yorkでも来年の春に個展があるそうなので、今後の活躍が期待されるアーティストです。

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Dana Nechmad

1. Could you introduce yourself briefly?

My name is Dana Nechmad.  I am an artist living in Chicago originally from Tel Aviv, Israel.

2. What brought you to Chicago from Israel? How was school life in Chicago?

I came to Chicago to study at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. I didn’t know much about Chicago when I came, but I felt I need a change of pace and was very happy to get accepted to the MFA program. The graduate school was amazing, everything I imagined and more. I was introduced to so many people, ideas, ways of working, techniques... but, of course this comes with a lot of pressure to prove yourself and to make/read/write/perform on a daily basis which was not easy. I was a bit older than most people so I felt more prepared and knew how to take criticism well, how to not lose myself too much and I enjoyed the challenges. I also came with a young child so I had much to take care of outside of school and that gave me a lot of perspective.

3. Could you tell me about your artworks briefly? And what do you currently make and what is the concept that underlie in your works?

 These days I am working on a series of textile pieces that has to do with bodily experiences of change and movement. The sense of touch in the work is very important to me lately, I found that through physical texture I can express a lot about a person’s character or energy. That is why I am working more and more with textile manipulation and stitching instead of traditional painting. I feel the idea of the dye that comes in the grain of the fabric and the thread that pierces it are more appropriate for me then color smeared on the surface.

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In my practice I also work with installation, video and performance sometimes. The content follows the medium, I am not attached to a specific mode of making but try to see what makes sense right now, however honestly I think everything I make is a drawing. Drawing is my most natural way of expression and I am always aware of line as the basis of my making.

4. What do you think today’s art scene in Chicago?

 I love the art scene of Chicago although sometimes it is very limiting. There is a very specific Chicago style and that is what being shown in the galleries. However there are many experimental spaces and alternative artists run spaces that keeps the art scene alive and vibrant. Those usually are much more interesting than the gallery scene. I don’t really know the art scene in Tel Aviv because I left the city when I was 20 and did my underground in Florence Italy. I do know it is very small and competitive and very much focused on video, photography and digital art.

5. Do you have any future perspective as an artist or specific plan near future?

My goal is to continue to make and show my work as much as possible and collaborate with different artists on the way. Collaboration is very important to me, I enjoy working with people and in grad school I definitely learnt the most from my peers. I am working now on the launch of ‘Pen Incest’ a publication I have developed with Samir Nahas around the idea of sketchbook exchange. In April 2019, I will have my first solo show in New York so I am working on that too.  But after that I have no idea, will go where the wind takes me:)

6. Do you have artists you have admired or been influenced recently?

Artist that I admire and look at these days are :

Sophie Calle (France) - multidisciplinary works about vulnerability as strength. text, sentimentality and the non distinction between life and art.

Annette Messager (France) - multidisciplinary feminist work. uses text and the image of the uterus as a trop and a butterfly image that repeats as decor / wallpaper.

Isa genzken (Germany) - sculpture, video, photography. Works with balance between materials as a metaphor to balance between forces in the world and relationships. How we relate to each other and to the material space around us.

Nelly Agassi (Israel) - textile performance work.

Carol Rama (Italy) - self-taught painter. erotic, and often sexually aggressive. The space between the sensual and the unconscious and the fascination with the abnormal and the deranged.  

7. As you learned as international student in Chicago, do you have some message or advice to Japanese art students who plan to study abroad in the future?

To young Japanese artists I would recommend to be bold and vulnerable in your work as much as possible. The only way to make interesting work is to be authentic to who you are. So even if you decide to travel to a different country do not forget to look within, and try not to become what others think you should be. Also please listen to your environment and try to learn from others around you as much as possible.

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Dana Nichmad

URL: www.dananechmad.com

Instagram: @dnechmad

Solo exhibition information:

Gallery Bee in the lion

www.beeinthelion.com