Center for Klangkunst
The Japanese sound artist Akio Suzuki works site-specific with the nature of Møn as material – from an acoustic perspective.
His music is simple and clean, exploring how natural atmospheres and sounds can be exploited and then released. Experiencing his art is losing oneself in the sound that surrounds us.
Shaped by the sea and the chalk the round flint wash ashore. A unique geological formation, poetry by nature, and an inexhaustible source of sound. Bullet flint occurs only in France and Denmark especially on the northern beaches of Møn and at Møns Klint. In the exhibition “Rolling Stone”, the Japanese sound artist Akio Suzuki, – the round flintstone pebbles play the lead role.
The exhibition presents a new collection of Suzuki’s self-invented musical instruments/sound generators – a practice he has had over the past 40 years. In the exhibition’s video documentary, Suzuki activates the potential energy of “Rolling Stone”.
The exhibition space is a living archive for composer and Fluxus artist Henning Christiansen – that lived om Møn for 40 years – until his death in 2009. Artists and composers are every year, invited to engage with the legacy of the Fluxus artist.
The work “Place of translation” is a tribute to Henning Christiansen, and consists of seven stones and a potty with bullet flint whose constellation mimics the scene of the traditional Japanese Noh theatre. Suzuki says: “When I met Ursula Reuter Christiansen (artist and wife of Henning Christiansen) the first time 20 years ago, she said to me “Henning is surely drinking in heaven now.” The inspiration for this piece came from her words. I took some distinctive, white chalk-flecked rocks I found at Møns Klint and made them stand in for the Pole Star and the Big Dipper (Ursa Major). I arranged them on a north-south axis in the gallery and buried three of them outside in the grass. The North Star was used as a guide by people all over the world, including the seamen – the Vikings. In Japan, the legend has been handed down – that the form of the noh stage, which is constructed as a space to welcome ghosts and spirits, was inspired by the shape of the Big Dipper. The spirits enter along the line of the three stones I placed outside, which represent the handle of the Big Dipper. They are then guided to the four stones inside the gallery, which represent the four pillars of the stage proper. The stone that represents the pillar of shite (the main actor who plays the role of the spirit in a noh play) has been replaced by a flowerpot that I painted green in memory of Henning’s trademark colour. The pot contains a branch of pussy willow with a plastic shide (the paper streamer used in Shinto rituals) hanging from its tip. The shide rustles with the air currents in the gallery: a translation of the origin of the repetitive melodies that are played on the noh flute during a noh play. This piece is dedicated to the memory of Henning Christiansen.”
“o to da te” / “enjoying sounds in the open”
Akio Suzuki has marked 9 points in the landscape of West Møn with a pictogram which unites the forms of the foot and the ear. These points indicate special places, places whose sonic qualities seem to capture the atmosphere of the surroundings essentially.
Akio Suzuki calls these works “Otodate” (oto = sound; date = preparing tea; tate = points), alluding in wordplay to “Nodate”, a special form of the tea ceremony in plain air (no = field, in the open; date = preparing tea), thus meaning “enjoying sounds in the open”.
Suzuki encourages us to open our ears and listen to our surroundings, whether it is the sound, that we produce ourselves or the backdrop of the sound of existence that is omnipresent.
When we washed the exhibit stones clean of soil, Suzuki said, “Happy stone” and broke out in laughter.