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Ambiguous Zones 9: Venice Biennale

Arakawa at a café in Piazza San Marco, Venice, most likely 1970, on Polaroid paper stock dated to 1969. The café in question is most likely Caffè Lavena. Dear Friends, For Ambiguous Zones 9, we travel to the Japan Pavilion at the 35th Venice Biennale that took place in 1970. Marking the first time the inner gallery was reserved for a single artist, art critic Yoshiaki Tono, the commissioner of the Japan Pavilion, chose Arakawa for that year.  Several canvases were exhibited from Arakawa’s large-scale project, The Mechanism of Meaning, which began in 1963 and was still in progress at the time.  Developed alongside Madeline Gins, this series of panels rigorously interrogated perception, the process of receiving, organizing, and interpreting information using our senses, in this case mainly sight. These works were accompanied by related drawings and diagrammatic paintings from the 1960s that turned the show into a retrospective of Arakawa’s work over the previous decade. Yours in the reversible destiny mode, Reversible Destiny Foundation and the ARAKAWA+GINS Tokyo Office Floor plan sketch of the Japan Pavilion at the 35th Venice Biennale by Yoshiaki Tono, included in a letter from Tono to Arakawa delivered to New York on January 21st, 1970.

Ambiguous Zones 8: Non-Gravitational Being, 1983-1984

Arakawa, Non-Gravitational Being, 1983-1984, acrylic, graphite, art marker and PVA on canvas (in two parts), 100 x 136 in. Photo: Rob McKeever Dear Friends, Ambiguous Zones 8 takes a close look at Non-gravitational Being, 1983-84, a large-scale painting by Arakawa. This artwork offers a short text on Arakawa and Gins’s concept of “Blank” and stands as a good introduction to the work being done by Arakawa in the early 1980s. A short formal analysis of the painting will leave you primed to meditate on the artist’s ideas about spacetime, energy-matter, and how gravity might work in different dimensions. Hopefully you will enjoy this brief contemplation on physics all the more knowing that scientists were wrong, luckily, in their prediction that asteroid 2009 JF1 would hit the Earth on May 6th, 2022! Yours in the reversible destiny mode, Reversible Destiny Foundation and ARAKAWA+GINS Tokyo Office Non-gravitational Being, 1983-84: A Meditation by Amara Magloughlin Arakawa’s painting, Non-gravitational Being, 1983-84, sets up the viewer to encounter a large-scale map covered with arrows pointing in different directions in a pattern reminiscent of air currents. The far-left side of the map appears to be incomplete, but is it unfinished? Has it been erased in some

Ambiguous Zones 7

Installation view of ARAKAWA: Waiting Voices at Gagosian Gallery, Basel, November 25th, 2021–January 22nd, 2022. Photo: Annik Wetter (Left) Hard or Soft No. 3, 1969, acrylic, graphite, and marker on canvas, 95 ½ x 65 in. (Right) A Couple, 1966–1967, oil, acrylic, marker, graphite, and crayon on canvas (in two parts), 95 x 124 in. Dear Friends, Ambiguous Zones 7 features a video recording of our January 12th, 2022, webinar with guest speaker Tiffany Lambert, curator of the Gallery at Japan Society in New York. Tiffany’s lecture focused on the connection between Arakawa’s art and Arakawa+Gins’s architecture. We hope you find it as illuminating as we did! Moving forward, Ambiguous Zones will arrive at your inbox every two months, which will give us time to explore certain topics in greater depth. In the meantime, please join us for the international conference AGxKANSAI 2022: Art and Philosophy in the 22nd Century After ARAKAWA+GINS, organized jointly by the Studies of the Architectural Body Research Group at Kansai University and Kyoto University of the Arts. The event will take place from March 11–15, 2022 at Kyoto University of the Arts with a combination of in-person and virtual presentations and a live broadcast of

Ambiguous Zones 6: Lecture and virtual tour by Dr. Ignacio Adriasola of the exhibition ARAKAWA: Waiting Voices at Gagosian Gallery in Basel, December 9th, 2021

Arakawa and Madeline Gins, Study for Sites of Reversible Destiny, digital rendering, ca. 1994 Dear Friends, Happy New Year of the Tiger! We hope you had a restorative holiday break. At the dawn of 2022, all of us here at the Reversible Destiny Foundation and the ARAKAWA+GINS Tokyo Office are looking resolutely toward the new horizon, fresh with limitless possibilities, following Arakawa and Madeline Gins’s commitment to a positive mindset coupled with (serious) playfulness. We begin the year with the sixth issue of Ambiguous Zones, which features a video recording of a lecture by Dr. Ignacio Adriasola that took place on December 9th of last year, live from the exhibition ARAKAWA: Waiting Voices at Gagosian Gallery in Basel (on view until January 22nd). In his lecture, Dr. Adriasola illuminates some of the recurring themes and motifs present in the works of Arakawa on display at the gallery, which range in date from 1964 to 1984, and brings to the fore the sensuality of texture and materiality in the artist’s paintings. Our next webinar will be on January 12th at 12pm EST with guest speaker Tiffany Lambert, Curator of the Gallery at Japan Society in New York. Her lecture will focus

Ambiguous Zones 5: Holiday season

Thanksgiving in July, or a heatwave or somewhere warm in November? Madeline Gins, Arakawa, and Madeline’s parents, Evelyn Gins, and Milton Gins enjoy turkey (or duck?) in the great outdoors, ca. 1977. Dear Friends, This fifth issue of Ambiguous Zones arrives partway into the holiday season. Like last year, the final few weeks of 2021 may not feel quite the same as previous years, but that is all the more reason to focus on spending time with loved ones, whether in person or online. The RDF archive has no shortage of photographic evidence that Madeline and Arakawa did just that year round. Regardless of how your celebrations shape up this year, we hope these photographs of Madeline and Arakawa dining with friends and family get you into the festive spirit! In the meantime, we are sending warm wishes for a lovely December! Yours in the reversible destiny mode, Reversible Destiny Foundation and ARAKAWA+GINS Tokyo Office Arakawa and Madeline drink coffee and eat pie inside after their meal outside, ca. 1977. Madeline calls across the table to a guest at a dinner party at 124 W Houston St. Arakawa laughs at a dinner with friends at 124 W Houston St. Arakawa

Ambiguous Zones 4: Madeline’s birthday

Dear Friends, In honor of Madeline Gins’s birthday on November 7th, the fourth edition of Ambiguous Zones focuses on one of her unpublished books. Madeline considered two possible titles that sum up the content quite well: “Conversations for our time: poet and physician” or “Medically in Our Time.” This book is based on a series of interviews that Madeline carried out with doctors with a variety of specialties, including neurology and psychiatry, an acupuncturist, and patients. Her overarching goal was to provide a course of action for the patient/reader that would help them navigate different approaches to their healthcare, including standard medical care, alternative therapies, vitamin regimens, and care related to their mental health, whether through psychiatry or other mind-body modalities like meditation and hypnosis. Help us celebrate Madeline’s 80th birthday by doing whatever mind-body exercise speaks to you the most. Yours in the reversible destiny mode, Reversible Destiny Foundation and ARAKAWA+GINS Tokyo Office In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Madeline Gins conducted multiple interviews with a variety of doctors and patients over the course of five years for a book that she would never publish. Her goal was to approach the evidence surrounding various treatments for disease from

Ambiguous Zones 3: Happy birthday

The Reversible Destiny Lofts—Mitaka (In Memory of Helen Keller) in its near-completion phase, 2005, Tokyo. Photo by Masataka Nakano Dear Friends, Did you know that today, October 15th, is the official “birthday” of the Reversible Destiny Lofts—Mitaka (In Memory of Helen Keller) in Tokyo? Designed by Arakawa+Gins and completed on this day in 2005, it is one of the most unique apartment buildings in Japan. There are a total of nine units in the building: five of them are currently occupied by tenants, two are offered for short-term stays and remote work space programs as well as group tours, events, and workshops, and the last two units house the ARAKAWA+GINS Tokyo Office, which manages all aspects of the operations there. The Mitaka Lofts has attracted thousands of people from around the world, many of whom have made a special pilgrimage to experience the space in person. At the time of its opening 16 years ago, people were beguiled by it and they hotly debated whether this was architecture or art. Arakawa’s vision, however, was clear that this was to be a residential building, inhabited and used by people. Through this creation, he aspired to change Japan and even the world

Ambiguous Zones 2: The end of summer

1. Snapshot of Arakawa taking a snapshot in Japan The end of summer brings another round of travel photos for the second edition of Ambiguous Zones! Hopefully some of you were able to travel yourselves this summer and extra bonus points if you got to see some art, like the Alexander Calder sculpture Arakawa and Madeline saw in France in 1980, or become the art, like Madeline did in Venice in the summer of 1969. We hope you enjoy this selection of photographs that bring Arakawa and Madeline from Japan to France and Italy, back to the U.S., and finally to Tula, Mexico. Yours in the reversible destiny mode, Reversible Destiny Foundation and ARAKAWA+GINS Tokyo Office 2. Arakawa and Madeline in front of a mountain scene in Japan (1979) 3. Madeline and Arakawa standing on a porch swing set in Japan (1979) 4. Madeline and Arakawa at Kenrokeun 5. Madeline and Arakawa performing purification ritual with water at a shrine in Japan (1 Jan 1995) 6. Arakawa reading the paper on a train in Japan 7. Arakawa posing in front of a wall 8. Madeline on the deck of a ship (Probably the QEII) 9. Arakawa on the deck of

Ambiguous Zones 1: A Self-Portrait Near the Ocean

Arakawa at the beach, Japan, ca. mid 1950s Dear Friends, At the Reversible Destiny Foundation, the start of summer brings with it an air of celebration for Arakawa’s birthday on July 6th, when he would have turned 85. This year, it also heralds a change in our monthly newsletter. We started the Distraction Series at the beginning of the pandemic when many of us were adjusting to being at home full time. As things begin to open up at various rates, we think it is time to move onto a new monthly newsletter, Ambiguous Zones, that will continue to explore various themes related to Arakawa and Madeline Gins. For the inaugural AZ newsletter, we took summer and Arakawa as inspiration for a brief look at the ambiguous zone of the beach, as seen in Arakawa’s 1967 painting A Self-Portrait Near the Ocean. We hope this leaves you with something to think about as you take your own selfies on the beach this summer! Yours in the reversible destiny mode, Reversible Destiny Foundation and ARAKAWA+GINS Tokyo Office Arakawa, A Self-Portrait Near the Ocean, 1967, oil, acrylic, graphite, art marker and collage on canvas, 90 x 63 in. Photo by Rob McKeever.

Distraction Series 10: A round-the-world armchair vacation with Arakawa and Madeline

Madeline and Arakawa with Mesoamerican statues in Tula, Mexico Given the current limitations on travel, Distraction Series 10 is here to bring you on a round-the-world armchair vacation with Arakawa and Madeline. From Mesoamerican ruins in Tula, Mexico, to Italy, France, Japan, and various locations in New York state, join us as we travel through time and space from the point of view of our two founders. We’ve pulled around twenty photographs from our archive for your viewing pleasure – scroll down for the images with descriptive captions. Winter, Spring, Summer, and Autumn, you’ll find Arakawa and Madeline posing, taking photographs, examining their environment, and planning their day over breakfast. Enjoy! Yours in the reversible destiny mode, Reversible Destiny Foundation and ARAKAWA+GINS Tokyo Office Arakawa and Madeline posing in front of Japanese buildings in snow (3 Jan 1995) Arakawa and Madeline on a boat in Venice Madeline with haystacks in France Arakawa in front of a castle in France Madeline and Arakawa walking on a street near a horse drawn trailer (Sep 1986) Arakawa walking up stairs in Europe Madeline on the deck of a boat Madeline touching plants on a trail in Japan (1979) Madeline and Arakawa walking outside

Ambiguous Zones 1: A Self-Portrait Near the Ocean

Dear Friends, At the Reversible Destiny Foundation, the start of summer brings with it an air of celebration for Arakawa’s birthday on July 6th, when he would have turned 85. This year, it also heralds a change in our monthly newsletter. We started the Distraction Series at the beginning of the pandemic when many of us were adjusting to being at home full time. As things begin to open up at various rates, we think it is time to move onto a new monthly newsletter, Ambiguous Zones, that will continue to explore various themes related to Arakawa and Madeline Gins. For the inaugural AZ newsletter, we took summer and Arakawa as inspiration for a brief look at the ambiguous zone of the beach, as seen in Arakawa’s 1967 painting A Self-Portrait Near the Ocean. We hope this leaves you with something to think about as you take your own selfies on the beach this summer! Yours in the reversible destiny mode, Reversible Destiny Foundation and ARAKAWA+GINS Tokyo Office Arakawa, A Self-Portrait Near the Ocean, 1967, oil, acrylic, graphite, art marker and collage on canvas, 90 x 63 in. Photo by Rob McKeever. Courtesy of Gagosian. As summer officially begins, Arakawa’s

Distraction Series 20: Virtual tour of the Ubiquitous site, Nagi‘s Ryoanji, Architectural Body

https://youtu.be/Yn2oRaXhS8w Dear Friends, For Distraction Series 20, we would like to invite you to a virtual experience of Arakawa+Gins’ first built work: Ubiquitous Site, Nagi’s Ryoanji, Architectural Body, one of the three permanent works at the Nagi Museum of Contemporary Art (NagiMOCA) in Okayama Prefecture, Japan. This museum is the extraordinary outcome of a collaboration between Arata Isozaki, the architect, and the artists, Aiko Miyawaki, Kazuo Okazaki, and Arakawa+Gins, who were commissioned by Isozaki at the very beginning of this endeavor. It is of course important to experience the space and its effect on the body in person, so please try to think of this virtual tour as preparatory research for your next trip to Japan, or as an introduction to learning more about A+G’s architectural works. Leading this tour, you will find Momoyo Homma (Director of the Reversible Destiny Foundation and the Arakawa+Gins Tokyo office), along with Arakawa and Madeline. We leave you with an excerpt from A+G’s statement upon the museum’s opening, as it appears in the museum’s catalogue: To be prepared for events of one billion years from now, enter here. “Beginning”, “past”, “future”, “I”, and “you” are all words that have no place in this. They

Distraction Series 19: The friendship between Arakawa, Madeline Gins, and Ray Johnson

For Distraction Series 19, we were inspired to re-examine the friendship between Arakawa, Madeline Gins, and Ray Johnson after seeing Ray Johnson: WHAT A DUMP at David Zwirner’s West 19th Street gallery in New York. Curated by Jarrett Earnest, this thoughtful exhibition brings together a variety of works and materials from the Ray Johnson Estate. If you are in New York and have not yet seen it, you have until May 22nd! In the meantime, we hope you enjoy this selection of items from our archive alongside pieces from the exhibition and the Ray Johnson Estate. Aside from some personal notes, we find evidence of the trio’s friendship exactly where we would expect to – within Ray Johnson’s mail art, collages, and other ephemera. From bunnies, to comic strips and coloring book pages, to stamps with quotes about mail art, to a page of repeated hand-stamped descriptions of his collage process, both Madeline and Arakawa received a number of very interesting mailings from Johnson’s New York Correspondence School (sometimes with different spellings of correspondence). Madeline was also mailed a photocopy of an article published in a Finnish magazine that featured a letter from Johnson printed in mirrored typed text, making

Distraction Series 18:Virtual tour of The Site of Reversible Destiny-Yoro

https://youtu.be/tPQ_CLWKFOQ Dear Friends, For Distraction Series 18, we celebrate the arrival of spring with an invitation to virtually visit the Site of Reversible Destiny—Yoro, located within Yoro Park in the town of Yoro in Gifu Prefecture, Japan. The Site is a monumental landscape designed by Arakawa and Madeline Gins in 1995, with an additional vibrantly colored building, Reversible Destiny Office, completed within it in 1997. It consists of an expansive undulating terrain with a series of pavilions scattered amid various greeneries. This creates a gravity defying illusion and disorients the visitor’s perception of space, leading to a heightened sensitivity that helps them to see the world anew. Created especially with future visitors in mind, the presenter, Momoyo Homma (Director of Reversible Destiny Foundation and the ARAKAWA+GINS Tokyo Office, who worked closely with Arakawa and Madeline Gins for many years) leads this illuminating tour of the Site’s highlights. The video was directed by Nobu Yamaoka, who has previously brought us an exploration of the artists’ philosophy in his documentary films about them. This virtual tour is perfect for those who wish to learn more about Yoro Park as well as Arakawa+Gins’s architecture and we hope that it tempts you to plan

Distraction Series 17: the Man Repellent, a perfume project developed by Madeline Gins around 2011

A few months ago, Reversible Destiny Foundation’s project archivist Kathryn Dennett came across a folder labeled, “Man Repellent Archive.” Kathryn was “instantly intrigued. Inside there were sticker labels and invoice forms from perfume bottle companies. What was this mysterious perfume? Why would Madeline be developing a ‘man repellent’ that ‘works paradoxically?’ And what does ‘working paradoxically’ even mean?” For Distraction Series 17, we present to you snapshots of the Man Repellent, a perfume project developed by Madeline Gins around 2011, as well as excerpts from a recorded conversation with Aviva Silverman, Madeline’s former assistant and main collaborator on the project. The Man Repellent was a perfume, originally meant to be part of a line of “repellents” including “woman” and “baby” versions, that would “paradoxically” attract the supposedly repelled category to the wearer. The “man” version was the only one ever designed. The process unfolded over the course of 4 or 5 months, the logo design developing from an antique cameo to the final collage of various athletic balls. Conceived of originally as a product to be sold in museum stores, it was never put into production, but the project illustrates the collaborative and iterative nature of Madeline’s creative process, particularly

Distraction Series 16: The friendship between Arakawa and the animation film director Hayao Miyazaki

Hayao Miyazaki and Arakawa at the Reversible Destiny Lofts Mitaka—In Memory of Helen Keller, photograph by Momoyo Homma, 2005 Dear Friends, As a part of a series in which we focus on archival materials revealing “friends of Arakawa and Gins” (tentative title), we are happy to share with you, in Distraction Series 16, a glimpse into the friendship between Arakawa and the animation film director Hayao Miyazaki. Miyazaki perhaps needs no introduction even to those who are not so keen on animated movies. Just think of the global hits like My Neighbor Totoro (1988) and Spirited Away (2001). However, his friendship with Arakawa is not widely known. They developed kinship after Miyazaki visited the Site of Reversible Destiny—Yoro around late 1997 or early 1998. Thanks to this encounter, they began to appear together in public talk programs and they also frequently visited each other’s office to have private discussions. On many occasions, they became so engaged in their conversation that they both had to cancel their other appointments to continue talking. Seeing them converse with such enthusiasm was like watching two imaginative kids planning their ideal secret fort in their own world. Hayao Miyazaki at the Reversible Destiny Lofts Mitaka—In

Distraction Series 15: Words from Don Byrd

For Distraction Series 15 we share with you words from a close friend of Madeline and Arakawa, poet – Don Byrd:   Madeline and Arakawa were the most generous of artists, forever looking for co-conspirators. I would get phone calls from Madeline. “Hi, are you well enough to talk? How are we not going to not to die?” To Not To Die, as in the title of one of their most important books. Sometimes I got packages of texts from them. They were signals to expect a call. Sometimes she would put me on hold to talk to Arakawa about what I was saying. They were in touch with many others. When they wanted to follow an idea, Madeline would call people out of the blue, promise to send their books, and hit them with questions. We can now see that their collaborative work from the Mechanism of Meaning to the last architectural work is of a piece. It is not an aesthetic or theoretical whole; it is an incomplete and incompletable project, not a work of art but a work of life, inevitably cut short. Madeline and Arakawa were masters. They filled their vision not with concepts or images

Distraction Series 14: Letters

Dear Friends, For Distraction Series 14 we share with you a handful of mail from Arakawa and Madeline Gins’s archives to remind us of the significant role our postal service has in our larger architectural body. Arakawa and Madeline were embedded in a vibrant community of friends from all over the world and their correspondence reveals what a unique and playful relationship they had with many of those around them. In their book Making Dying Illegal (2006) and Arakawa’s painting Who Is It? No.2 (1970) we see examples of how this intimate letter format is used in their work. As Madeline would say, “Reversible Destiny will be achieved communally or it will not be achieved at all.” We have selected a small number of letters and cards primarily from the 1960’s and 1970’s to share with you today, including ones from A+G’s friends such as Kate Millet, Ray Johnson, their physical therapist, and a 12-year-old named Martine Rubin. As many of us prepare for the holiday season ahead and begin writing cards to family, friends and loved ones, hopefully something here might inspire you. Love, RRRRReversible Destiny Foundation and the ARAKAWA+GINS Tokyo Office P.S. If you have received any mail

Distraction Series 12: Helen Keller or Arakawa

Front cover of Madeline Gins’s Heren Kerā matawa Arakawa Shūsaku (Helen Keller or Arakawa). Translated by Momoko Watanabe. Tokyo: Shinshokan, 2010. In honor of Blindness Awareness Month, Distraction Series 12 focusses on Madeline Gins’s book Helen Keller or Arakawa (1994) and the influence that Helen Keller had on Arakawa and Gins’s architectural practice. While Helen Keller is an extremely well-known figure in both the United States and Japan, Gins’s in-depth meditation on Keller’s thought and experience goes well beyond the usual elementary school focus on Keller’s childhood and tutelage under Annie Sullivan. Gins incorporates direct quotes from Keller along with poetic imaginings of her experience of being both blind and deaf and employs these against a backdrop of Arakawa’s paintings in particular to probe the ways in which we experience the world as well as what it means to inhabit an architectural body. Her Socialist Smile (2020), a new documentary film on Helen Keller by filmmaker John Gianvito, was available to stream last week as part of the New York Film Festival. With its focus on Helen Keller’s political activism, it highlights Keller as an historical figure who is still very relevant, something Arakawa and Gins felt deeply. From the

Distraction Series 11: ARAKAWA Shusaku Interview, at the ICC, Tokyo, 1997

・*CLICK HERE FOR TRANSCRIPT OF THE INTERVIEW* For Distraction Series 11, we are delighted to share an interview Arakawa gave in Tokyo, 1997, at the NTT InterCommunication Center (ICC), available for the first time with English subtitles. You can also find the English transcript of the interview on the Reversible Destiny Foundation website. In this roughly thirty-minute interview, Arakawa discusses what it means to him to think across two languages as well as the concept of the architectural body. He then waxes philosophical on human-made nature, civilization and architecture, and the relationship between computers and art. Conducted by Yukihiro Hirayoshi (professor of design and architecture at Kyoto Institute of Technology; formerly, curator at the National Museum of Art, Osaka), this interview not only provides insight into Arakawa’s approach to his work and his thoughts on a variety of related subjects, it also offers an interesting snapshot of the late 1990s from the point of a view of an artist. In the following year, the ICC held an exhibition of Arakawa and Madeline Gins’s work, entitled The City as the Art Form of the Next Millennium ARAKAWA/GINS (January 24th–March 29th, 1998), which featured a large model of a Reversible Destiny city

Distraction Series 8: Arakawa’s MISTAKE, Lecturer: Satoshi Yamada

https://youtu.be/v6_N6xqWAd8 For Distraction Series 8, we are very pleased to present a ten-minute excerpt of a two-hour lecture by curator Satoshi Yamada on a work by Arakawa entitled 35’ by 7’ 6” and 126 lbs. No. 2, 1967-68. This lecture was given on May 13th, 2012, at the Nagoya City Art Museum, where Mr. Yamada was a curator at the time. NCAM houses sixteen works by Arakawa in its permanent collection, along with an additional five works on long-term loan from the Estate of Madeline Gins. As the museum is located in the artist’s hometown of Nagoya, NCAM has focused on developing a collection that covers a broad range of Arakawa’s artistic experiments: it spans from the sculptures of the late 1950s (his so-called ‘coffin’ series), to sketches revealing his thought-process, and finally to the large-scale paintings of the 1980s that anticipated his move toward architecture in collaboration with Madeline Gins.   Satoshi Yamada, currently the chief curator of the Kyoto City Museum of Art, conducted a 2-year-long study of Arakawa’s work in 2003–2005 with two other fellow curators, forming the organizing committee of the 2005 exhibition “Analyzing the Art of Arakawa Shusaku” at NCAM. This in-depth research project and

Distraction Series 10: A round-the-world armchair vacation with Arakawa and Madeline

1. Madeline poses as Arakawa casually leans on Toltec warrior statue in Tula, Mexico. Given the current limitations on travel, Distraction Series 10 is here to bring you on a round-the-world armchair vacation with Arakawa and Madeline. From Mesoamerican ruins in Tula, Mexico, to Italy, France, Japan, and various locations in New York state, join us as we travel through time and space from the point of view of our two founders. We’ve pulled around twenty photographs from our archive for your viewing pleasure – scroll down for the images with descriptive captions. Winter, Spring, Summer, and Autumn, you’ll find Arakawa and Madeline posing, taking photographs, examining their environment, and planning their day over breakfast. Enjoy! Yours in the reversible destiny mode, Reversible Destiny Foundation and ARAKAWA+GINS Tokyo Office 2. Arakawa and Madeline all bundled up in front of snowy, thatched cottages in Japan. 3. While Arakawa photographs his environment from a boat in Venice, Italy, someone else turns the lens on him and Madeline. 4. Madeline poses in front of a field of haystacks in France, as if she has just stepped into a Monet painting. 5. Arakawa looks pensive in the shadows against the backdrop of a French

Distraction Series 9: Questionnaire from Madeline Gins

Photograph of Madeline Gins (seated in the second row from the front at the far left) in Grade Six, Radcliffe Road Elementary School, Island Park, NY, 1952 For the ninth iteration of our Distraction Series, we have pulled a questionnaire from our archive that Madeline had her mother give to her Fifth-Grade class on January 20th, 1969, the day Richard Nixon was sworn in as President of the United States. Lucy Ives, editor of The Saddest Thing Is That I Have Had to Use Words: A Madeline Gins Reader, wrote a lovely piece about this questionnaire for the Poetry Foundation in April of this year. Madeline’s questions focus in on thoughts – where do you feel them, from where do they come, where do they go, what are they made of? And she then has the children conduct a practical exercise (drawing a circle), before asking about their thoughts while carrying out this particular activity. Finally, the questionnaire asks the children to explain the difference between children and adults, state their most interesting thought, share their oldest memory, and come up with an interesting question to ask their teacher. The fascinating responses from the children have thoughts taking the shape

Distraction Series 8: Arakawa’s MISTAKE, Lecturer: Satoshi Yamada

For Distraction Series 8, we are very pleased to present a ten-minute excerpt of a two-hour lecture by curator Satoshi Yamada on a work by Arakawa entitled 35’ by 7’ 6” and 126 lbs. No. 2, 1967-68. This lecture was given on May 13th, 2012, at the Nagoya City Art Museum, where Mr. Yamada was a curator at the time. NCAM houses sixteen works by Arakawa in its permanent collection, along with an additional five works on long-term loan from the Estate of Madeline Gins. As the museum is located in the artist’s hometown of Nagoya, NCAM has focused on developing a collection that covers a broad range of Arakawa’s artistic experiments: it spans from the sculptures of the late 1950s (his so-called ‘coffin’ series), to sketches revealing his thought-process, and finally to the large-scale paintings of the 1980s that anticipated his move toward architecture in collaboration with Madeline Gins. Satoshi Yamada, currently the chief curator of the Kyoto City Museum of Art, conducted a 2-year-long study of Arakawa’s work in 2003–2005 with two other fellow curators, forming the organizing committee of the 2005 exhibition “Analyzing the Art of Arakawa Shusaku” at NCAM. This in-depth research project and his years

Distraction Series 7: Sky No. 2, 1968

Arakawa, Sky No.2, 1968, acrylic and oil on canvas, 48 x 36 in *CLICK HERE FOR PRINTABLE RECIPE* In 1968, Arakawa produced a number of works that took his use of stenciled and written language in a more playful direction than we saw in the paintings included in documenta 4. In canvas and print form, he reproduced recipes for lamb stew, fried pork with sweet-sour sauce, banana cake, and coconut milk cake. These recipes were, in a sense, readymades, found in one or more cookbooks that Arakawa and Madeline had on their shelf. They all follow a similar formula: Arakawa copied a page onto the surface of each work and then diagrammed the ingredients. For Distraction Series 7, we present you with our playful response to Sky No. 2, 1968, pictured above, which involved baking the Coconut Milk Cake recipe as it is written in cursive over the surface of the canvas, up until we are left hanging with this final sentence: “To serve, fill between the layers with:”. This incomplete direction seems to demand that the viewer fill the layers by filling in the blank. They may immediately look to the diagram at the bottom to see if that offers

Distraction Series 5: Virtual tour of Reversible Destiny Lofts Mitaka(2020年6月1日 公開)

For Distraction Series 5, our Director, Momoyo Homma, leads us on a tour of the Reversible Destiny Lofts MITAKA – In Memory of Helen Keller, in Tokyo, Japan. We are very grateful to Nobu Yamaoka, the director of the two documentary films presented in Distraction Series 1 and 2, “Children Who Won’t Die” (2010) and “We” (2011), for filming this experience. Follow along as Momoyo guides us from the building entrance up to one of the lofts, where she walks us through how this unique living environment affords ample opportunity to stretch and move the body in new ways. Special guests Yuma and Sono, two of the children who appeared in “Children Who Won’t Die”, speak about their experiences from their time living in one of the lofts. Speculating about what it would be like to live in a Reversible Destiny City, Yuma imagines that there would be no war in the future, an observation that Arakawa himself frequently made. Rokka, a two-year-old who currently lives in one of the lofts, also demonstrates fun ways to use the space. In addition to this private tour, we want to bring to your attention a 15-minute episode of the NHK World program

Distraction Series 4: Segue Series Reading at Double Happiness, May 19, 2001

With the launch of The Saddest Thing is That I Have Had to Use Words: A Madeline Gins Reader, edited by Lucy Ives, we wanted to take the opportunity to share with everyone more of Madeline’s poetry and other writings. Some of you may already be aware that a number of audio recordings of Madeline’s public readings and lectures are available on PennSound, a wonderful UPenn project that produces new audio recordings and preserves existing audio archives related to poetry. Thanks to this incredible resource, we can all listen to Madeline read some of her writing aloud, which adds considerably to the experience of engaging with her poetry in particular. For Distraction Series 4, we are highlighting Madeline Gins’s Segue Series reading at Double Happiness, NYC, that took place roughly 19 years ago on May 19, 2001. We especially loved this set of readings that beautifully shows Madeline’s profound ability to be serious while maintaining a sense of play. In this selection, she begins with a series of poems on the Krebs Cycle, which she states she “does not want any biochemist to declare as cute,” and intersperses them with poems about eating Spaghetti, seemingly lighthearted but deeply related, and

Distraction Series 3: Puzzle Creature by Neon Dance

For the third iteration of our Distraction Series, we are pleased to share a full-length recording of the world premiere performance of Neon Dance‘s Puzzle Creature at Kamigo Clove Theater during the Echigo-Tsumari Triennale, Niigata Prefecture, Japan, on September 15th, 2018. This new immersive dance work was inspired by the death-eluding architecture designs of Arakawa and Madeline Gins. Since 2017, with research assistance from the Arakawa + Gins Tokyo Office, Japan, and the Reversible Destiny Foundation, NY, London-based group Neon Dance has been studying and exploring the philosophical concept of “architectural body” as defined by Arakawa and Madeline Gins in their 2002 book of the same name. Artistic Director/Choreographer Adrienne Hart’s archival research and visits to their built works in both New York and Japan came together in the creation of Puzzle Creature. Three exquisite dance artists drive this 60-minute performance with wearable artefacts created by the award winning artist Ana Rajcevic forming curious imprints of choreographed action. Puzzle Creature is accompanied by a newly commissioned score for 8 speakers by Oxford based composer Sebastian Reynolds, the work features integrated British and Japanese Sign Language and audio description from Louise Fryer. Organisms that person (you and I) are invited to

Distraction Series 2: WE, Madeline Gins

In this second installment of our Distraction Series, we are sharing Nobu Yamaoka’s documentary film, WE (2011), featuring Madeline Gins. This film follows Madeline from her studio at 124 West Houston Street to the Bioscleave House in East Hampton, NY, offering another opportunity to spend time with Arakawa+Gins’s reversible destiny architecture. Throughout the film, Madeline provides an intimate look into her extensive, decades-long study of the body, undertaken with Arakawa, as we watch a family explore, navigate, and react to the challenging terrain of Bioscleave House. Thanks to the director’s generosity, this 60 minute film will be available through the end of June, 2020. In case you haven’t had a chance to watch it yet, Children Who Won’t Die (2010) is also available through June via our website. We hope you enjoy We (2011) and will be in touch again with another distraction in two weeks’ time! Yours in the reversible destiny mode, Distraction Series 2: WE, Madeline Gins w/ Japanese subtitles 65 minutes, 2011 How does the body meet the future ? Madeline Gins – poet, architect, visionary – talks about the origin of creation, its secrets, and the future of humanity. This film documents a visit with her

Distraction Series 7: Sky No. 2, 1968

Arakawa, Sky No.2, 1968, acrylic and oil on canvas, 48 x 36 in In 1968, Arakawa produced a number of works that took his use of stenciled and written language in a more playful direction than we saw in the paintings included in documenta 4. In canvas and print form, he reproduced recipes for lamb stew, fried pork with sweet-sour sauce, banana cake, and coconut milk cake. These recipes were, in a sense, readymades, found in one or more cookbooks that Arakawa and Madeline had on their shelf. They all follow a similar formula: Arakawa copied a page onto the surface of each work and then diagrammed the ingredients. For Distraction Series 7, we present you with our playful response to Sky No. 2, 1968, pictured above, which involved baking the Coconut Milk Cake recipe as it is written in cursive over the surface of the canvas, up until we are left hanging with this final sentence: “To serve, fill between the layers with:”. This incomplete direction seems to demand that the viewer fill the layers by filling in the blank. They may immediately look to the diagram at the bottom to see if that offers any hint. When it