SHIGEKO HIRAKAWA

SHIGEKO HIRAKAWA2

source: france-2009artcatalysenet

L’oeuvre de Shigeko Hirakawa, installée en deux exemplaires à Genève, reprend celle que l’artiste avait réalisée dans le cadre d’une commande in-situ extérieure au Centre historique minier – Musée de la Mine du Nord/pas-de-Calais à Lewarde en février 2005.

L’artiste y met l’accent sur l’importance de l’air dont on prend pleinement conscience au fond des mines. Elle matérialise son aspect vital pour les mineurs. La vulnérabilité de la structure fait écho à celle de l’homme dans les entrailles de la terre, et plus généralement à la raréfaction de sa pureté.
La fragile structure qui se balance avec le vent, ainsi que sa fine paroi translucide, évoque dans une forme stylisée la membrane délicate d’un poumon.
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source: alteringlandscapesorg

The weather and climate have a profound influence on our lives. More and more, livelihoods are disrupted in the path of storms and rising sea levels, retreating glaciers, intensifying droughts and floods, and food and water scarcity.

What can we do?

Engaging society at all levels and across all continents through individual expression is one way we can make a difference. Art transcends the barriers of language and culture to unite us in our common cause to live with the elements.

The Altering Landscapes exhibition combines the works of international artists with local students to explore the cultural, political, social, technological, historical and geographical landscapes of climate and society. A workshop for students took place in Geneva from 13 – 17 July 2009.

Coinciding with the World Climate Conference 3 in Geneva, which runs from 31 August—4 September 2009, the exhibition is intended to provoke us to think about how we are affected by the environment, how it transforms us, and how we live with it. It began July 13 2009 with a workshop for students in Geneva and will continue with various events scheduled throughout the Conference dates.

Here, contemporary art explores the relationship between the climate and society.
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source: alteringlandscapesorg

There was an issue concerning the air in this miners’ town of Lewarde in the north of France. They said that, for the men who worked at the bottom of mines, the lack of oxygen and the firedamp explosion were two major and fatal dangers. In days long past, a turbine with large blades to blow air was connected to a machine such as a bicycle which was pedaled by children all day long for their fathers to breathe in the miners’ galleries.

Inspired by their danger-fraught day-to-day life, my idea of translucent balloons which are sustained by continuously supplied air is a metaphor of a man’s lung. The mines of the region have been definitively closed for years, but the history could come alive again in artistic form such as occurred in the sanctuary of a Museum of Mine.