|8 million Kami|
|2016-12-21 - 2017-01-27|
For her show at CCA Laura Oldfield Ford responds to the city of Kitakyushu with a new audio work and installation incorporating drawings, collages and billboard posters generated by a series of walks or dérives. Her primary focus has been the steel works at Yawata, the arcades and markets of Kokura and the hillside dwellings at the foot of mount Sarakura. Her work relates strongly to ideas surrounding landscape, urbanism and memory and for this show she considers what it means to encounter a premonition of the future first dreamed in the North of England in the 1970s. Kitakyushu appears to Ford as a future promise never fulfilled, a vision of how Yorkshire might have been if the path towards neoliberalism had been averted. The experience of living and working in a functioning and vibrant industrial city appears in sharp contrast to the industrial ruins where she grew up. The experience of migration and exile and the relationship with ‘home’ is of enduring interest to Ford. She is fascinated by the way that sites of formative memories can be encountered as conjurations or hallucinations in the midst of unfamiliar territory.
The title of the show refers to the animistic traditions of Shinto, the idea that an infinite number of spirits or kami reside in a realm contiguous to the physical world we inhabit. This sense of walking alongside a parallel spirit world resonates with Ford’s work where the idea of haunting and spectrality are always present. The unseen exerts the most powerful influence and for Ford the 8 million Kami, or the infinite realm of spirits, is an analogy for those worlds or alternative futures in waiting.
Laura Oldfield Ford stays in CCA Kitakyushu from November 11th to December 17th, 2016.
This post is also available in: Japanese