Public dismantling | Return to the Sea: Saltworks by Motoi Yamamoto
Saturday, July 7, 4pm | The Halsey Institute, 161 Calhoun Street
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
4pm: Curator’s remarks
(Location: Hill Gallery, just outside the Halsey)
4:10pm – 5pm: dismantling of the installation
(Location: Halsey galleries)
5pm – 5:30pm: scheduled time to walk/bike/bus/drive to Maritime Center
5:30pm: Ceremonious return to the sea at the Maritime Center (10 Wharfside Street)
The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art has organized a major traveling exhibition of new work by contemporary Japanese artist Motoi Yamamoto. The exhibition will premiere in Charleston May 24-July 7, 2012, as a featured presentation of the Spoleto Festival USA. The centerpiece of the exhibition is a site-specific installation created entirely out of salt by the artist during his10-day residency at the Halsey Institute.
“Drawing a labyrinth with salt is like following a trace of my memory. Memories seem to change and vanish as time goes by; however, what I seek is to capture a frozen moment that cannot be attained through pictures or writings. What I look for at the end of the act of drawing could be a feeling of touching a precious memory.” – Motoi Yamamoto
Motoi is known for working with salt, often in the form of temporary, intricate, large-scale installations. He forged a connection to the element while mourning the death of his sister, at the age of twenty-four, from brain cancer and began to create art out of salt in an effort to preserve his memories of her. His art radiates an intense beauty and tranquility, but also conveys something ineffable, painful, and endless.
Motoi views his installations as exercises that are at once futile, yet necessary to his healing. An important aspect of the installation is the dismantling of his work at the end of the show and delivering the salt back to water, usually in collaboration with the public; hence, the title Return to the Sea. Motoi recognizes that salt is a vital part of many living things and that this mineral could conceivably enter and leave multiple organisms throughout the planet over the span of time. According to curator Mark Sloan, “each grain of salt contains its own history and trajectory. Something so seemingly common becomes a metaphor for the evanescence and transience of human life”.
An important aspect of the installation is the dismantling of Motoi’s work at the end of the show and delivering the salt back to water in collaboration with the public, hence, the title Return to the Sea. At 4:00pm on Saturday, July 7, the end of gallery hours and the official end of the exhibition, the public is invited to gather a small amount of the salt. Then, as a group the Halsey staff and the community will return the salt to the sea at the Aquarium Wharf on Concord Street. The Halsey will have containers for transporting the salt available and guests are invited to bring their own bags, jars or bottles.
Director & Producer: Dave Brown
This video documents the dismantling of Yamamoto’s salt installation at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art for Spoleto Festival USA 2012 and the ceremonious return to the sea.
DISMANTLING CEREMONY PHOTOGRAPHS – JULY 7, 2012