Previously on view in the Amsterdam Biennale: Paul Lefevre-Venet

Kobe Pavilion

Theory of Clouds in collaboration with C.A.P (The Conference on Art and Art Projects)

The Kobe Pavilion is designed to reflect the energy and diversity of artistic practice in Kobe city. The Pavilion is also an expression of the unique blend of art and civil society that is the full expression of the city’s cultural life. From 14 November 2009 till 3 January 2010 in the Amsterdam Biennale at Mediamatic.

Curator Paul Lefevre-Venet is an artist and the director of Theory of Clouds, an initiative supporting creatives engaged in collaborative projects in Asia, Europe and North America. Theory of Clouds is based in Kobe, Japan. At Theory of Clouds we assist in the development of collaborative projects by providing access, logistical and organizational support. Through networks developed locally and in partnership with Mediamatic Travel, we work to create opportunities for artists, scholars, musicians and imaginative people of all sorts to meet and develop work.

Participating artists: Sugiyama Tomoko, Aihara Nobuhiro, Claudia Weber, Hayashi Nobuko, Paul Lefevre Venet, Veronika Dobers, Tsukiyama Yuki, Nakamura Yukiko, Masuda Makiko, Tanaka Miwa, Higashino Kenichi, Uemura Kytoya, Yukinori Yamamura, Frank Inagaki, Nalini Toshniwa.


Kobe pavilion walls - The Kobe Pavilion, curator: Paul Lefevre-Venet. Nov 14 - Jan 3 2009/10, in the Amsterdam Biennale at Mediamatic. Raphael Rehbach

In the past, Kobe shared the distinction of being one of the five designated ports for foreign settlement. Politically, the establishment of these settlements brought about the end of the Tokugawa Shogunate, and Japan began a rapid process of industrialization and modernization called Meiji Restoration. Modern Kobe still retains a rich mixture of
cultures and traditions. These communities bring to the city more than the energy of their commerce but also the wealth of their social and religious traditions.

Perhaps equally profound was the impact of the 1995 Great Hanshin Awaji Earthquake. It left 6,500 dead and tens of thousands injured and homeless. In addition, the earthquake placed in jeopardy the senses of economic, historic, social and cultural grounding that the city had enjoyed throughout the late twentieth century. In the months and years after the quake, the people of the city and the region developed many institutions dedicated to restoring cultural diversity and building cohesion among many communities. It is widely acknowledged that Kobe’s Arts Community played a major role in this renewal. The videos and images that are presented at this pavilion give a view of life inside the studios and institutions that create this community.

The Kobe Pavilion - A Design Strategy
Kobe was designated one of the worlds Design Cities by UNESCO. As such it has participated, as a host, in the worldwide Creative Cities program. Now, as we look to joining the Amsterdam Biennale, we are seeking to continue in our role as an international partner. We are proposing a plan that expresses our local inventiveness, the city’s quiet grace as well as our energy and eagerness to participate with a wider world.

The Kobe Pavilion - Dialogue and Movement
The design of the pavilion will present the viewer with a representation of the fluid exchange between the interior and the exterior, the local and the global. We have chosen Mediamatic’s Styrofoam structure as offering the best options for our plan.

The work we are assembling for the pavilion will be presented largely through video taped interviews and studio visits. We would like to support the video with drawings and diagrams applied to the interior and exterior surfaces of the pavilion. The strategy at work in the graphics is to give expression to the dialogue between and movement of artists in and out of the city. The drawings reflect this rich and fluid artistic exchange as a structural element of the artistic practice in Kobe.

Working from the drawings supplied in the Mediamatic pavilions PDF, Theory of Clouds will prepare working drawings of the pavilion to reference the position for each drawing as well as a video monitor. We will supply 3 copies of the DVD presentations. The pavilion itself will be as described in the PDF and in the equipment list of this document (see below).

The Kobe Pavilion - Equipment list

From Theory of Clouds:
• 3 DVDs of the Interviews
• Studio Visits
• 6 Drawings for Pavilion walls

From Mediamatic:
• 1 Styrofoam Pavilion (as seen to the right)
• 1 Monitor
• 2 seating