Can vulnerability be shared?
In Koki Tanaka's feature film 'Vulnerable Histories' (2018), previously shown at esea contemporary as part of the group exhibition 'Practise Till We Meet', the artist examines a pressing issue from his native country, Japan: the mutual incomprehension and mistrust between Zainichi Koreans and ethnic Japanese. Tanaka urges us to rethink the structural (in)justice within the society, and how can we co-exist with our differences.
During the Manchester Literature Festival, join our Curator Dot Zhihan Jia for an afternoon reading session where we will read the accompanying text 'Vulnerable Communities', translated into English for the first time by Andrew Maerkle and published by esea contemporary.
'This short essay,' as Tanaka introduces, 'considers the unsharable pain of the other. And that will in turn lead to thinking about community, about how to listen to the voices of others, and about disasters and precarious lives'. Collectively, we will reflect on notions of connectivity, migration, and care.
No prior reading is required, and copies of the zine will be provided during the session.
Koki Tanaka’s practice spans video, photography, installations, and interventions in which he renders visible the multiple contexts intrinsic to everyday acts. In his earlier works, Tanaka experimented with ordinary objects to explore possible diversions from daily routines. In his more recent work, Tanaka asks participants to collectively navigate tasks that are in and of themselves out of the ordinary. He documents behaviours that people unconsciously exhibit when facing unusual situations, exploring group dynamics in a micro-society and transitory community. His works have been exhibited internationally, including at the Migros Museum, Zurich (2018); Kunsthaus Graz (2017); Skulptur Projekte Münster (2017); the 57th Venice Biennale (2017); the Liverpool Biennial (2016); VanAbbe Museum, Eindhoven (2014); the 55th Venice Biennale (2013); and at the Gwangju Biennial (2008). He received a special mention for his national participation at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013, and was Deutsche Bank's "Artist of the Year" in 2015.
Andrew Maerkle is a writer, editor, and translator based in Tokyo.
‘Publishing Otherwise: A Slow Book Fair for Coexistence’ is a reimagination of the book fair model, offering an alternative approach that diverges from the pressure of high-functioning, profit-driven transactions and embraces a slower, more intentional form of exchange.
Taking place at esea contemporary's Communal Project Space, the programme brings together two months of free talks, book launches, displays, and workshops led by collaborators from a diverse range of collectives, disciplines, and practises.