The theme of the second Sapporo International Art Festival is “What is an Art Festival?” Something that has been stuck in my mind since receiving this offer to act as guest director, and have been thinking about since is “so what exactly is an ‘art festival’?” Like, what is “art”? What does it mean to put on a “festival” for it?
One of the activities that I have been heavily involved in since after the earthquake (in 2011) is creating a new “festival” that has never existed before. The “festival” I mean by this, is not just providing a place to sing and dance? although yes, those are important?but more than that, the “festival” I am imagining is creating, with our own hands, an intense place where our view of the world will be drastically changed after being there. This time, elements such as “art” “international” and “Sapporo” are also involved. So what shall we do? The more I thought about these things, the more I began to think that these questions were too good to keep to myself. This is a citizen participatory art festival, so there are as many answers as there are citizens, and I feel
that there is no need for there to only one right answer. Instead of looking for specific answers or arguing about these questions, I think it is better to just get hands on, to create something with each other, and see what comes of it. If there are 100 people, then there are 100 ideas, and they don’t have to all face the same direction. Rather, by not facing the same direction, they react to one another, and create noise, something unpredictable. And we must embrace the magnanimity to accept these results as richness, otherwise we cannot change the way we view the world.
This is an art festival that has just begun, with the vast northern land as its stage. Let’s create an inclusive and at times unconventional art festival that can only take place here, listening attentively, eyes wide open, absorbing with our senses, while still honoring and making use of the previous art festival model, and the things that the people of Sapporo and Hokkaido have made until now.
Forget about what art is, what music is, and instead strive to create a new kind of art festival that says “this is what Sapporo is!”
I have a good feeling that I will be able to do that with the people here.
Sapporo International Art Festival 2017 (SIAF 2017)
“What is an Art Festival?”
Sunday, August 6 – Sunday, October 1, 2017 (57 days)
Susukino Area / Tanukikoji Area / Maruyama Area / Sapporo Art Park /Sapporo Shiryokan (Former Sapporo Court of Appeals) / Moerenuma Park
Takahiro Urushi, Satoshi Katono, Kino Tetsuya, Chiaki Sakaguchi, SATO Naoki, Yo Nakajima, Hata Satoshi, Asami Hosokawa, Mayunkiki (MAREWREW), MIYAI Kazumi, Tomoko Yabumae
O-FUROSHIKI Project, Sapporo Collective Orchestra, Sapporo International Art Festival Design Project, Art Festival in the Downtown Project, Public Offering Project -Let’s Create an Art Festival Together-, SIAF2017 Artist-In-Residence Project
Creative City Sapporo International Art Festival Executive Committee