16 Stories on Everyday Life
work of sheets
1. This labyrinth consists of 16 individual sheets.
2. It starts with the word “Passage for underground”.
3. The reader picks up the key words as they like except the first and last words, and connect the sheets by his order. They can be connected up and down as well as right and left.
4. It ends with the word “Passage for daily life”.
When the 16 sheets has been connected, each reader’s labyrinth has been completed. The reader then starts to read the stories on them experiencing these imaginary installations.
001 Passage to the Underground
[If we lose heart, it could happen again…]
How was everything so destroyed? Even compensating with all we have for the future,
So much has been lost in order to gain the world we have.There is no turning back. What else can we do beside deny reality? A sense of loss always haunts us.
The entrance is inconspicuously placed in a site of chaotic everyday life. The axis and grids are seemingly not a part of this world. The openings are ubiquitous in rather ordinary places. The visitor slowly goes down the “passage to the underground,” descending deeply into the inner self.
002 The Dismantled Room
[I don’t know how to analyze reality.]
I have to observe the world. However, being dazzled by the enormous scale and complexity, my eyes wonder aimlessly in space.There is nothing I can hold onto. I am anxious that I have no place I can call home.
I lost myself before I knew it. Self-existence is not something that I or others can define.
Sixteen slowly rotating mirrors are placed in a 4×4 grid. Images of inside and outside become dismantled and then recomposed on the mirrors. The visitors meander through the ever-changing maze. Each mirror has symbols of various categories, such as politics, religion, ethnic groups, economy, science, morality, and history, with texts written by specialists attached to them.
003 The Rain Room
[Before desiring, I am already betrayed.]
Becoming tired of feeling potential, I tried to hide in the crowds. Assimilating to others was a way of stabilizing myself.
Even my own existence is based on irrationality. The fact tortures me, but I have to accept it. Without a safe haven, we cannot maintain.
The space resembles an ordinary room with furniture. Mist continuously drizzles from the ceiling. Walking figures are projected on the drops of water.
004 Room of Noise and Serenity
Bright light and roaring noise… accelerated speed of blinking lights…The body melts out onto the surrounding space… the ground bursts into flame…
We lost our basis of existence in order to satisfy our desires. Driven into gaps between objects, we have less and less space of interaction between our spirits and the world. Our spirits are consumed bit by bit and we still cannot return…
Images and noise are taken from rush hour and the everyday noise in a congested city. These two are related. They appear in turns with complete darkness and silence. The interval is 20 seconds at first and gets shorter, down to 10, 5, 2.5, 1.25 seconds and so on. Darkness and light intermingle until finally, the darkness and silence rule the space.
005 The Expanding and Shrinking Room
[There is no such place as a promised land anymore.]
What else can I do besides pursuing my ego? I’d like to leave the proof of my existence somewhere in this world. However, encountering this overwhelmingly complex world, it seems impossible to find a point of contact. I bury myself in the pseudo inner world.
Information makes the faraway world seem so real, yet takes away the sense of reality from daily life. How much can I trust information? What distance should I keep from it? There is no such thing as objectivity. When I give up my struggle to clarify the relationship between myself and the world, information turns into violence.
From the center of the room, two different images are projected on the opposite walls. One image is the visitor captured by a circling camera. The other is real-time ordinary scenery of constantly moving transportation circling the city.
006 Ariadne’s Web
[It is right in front of me, yet beyond my reach.]
You can’t touch beauty. If you get closer, it goes away. Trying to capture it, it evanesces. A fragile and trembling aura hovers over the surface.
There is no rank or intention. We can’t force some standard onto beauty, nor try to capture it. Awaken your senses. Listen carefully with all your sensitivities.
A laser beam irradiates a dark room. The single beam bounces complexly around the space. The visitor searches for the exit, following the faint light reflected against the skin. The floor has a gentle slope and the beam moves vertically.
007 The Place of Light and Water
Light from the sunset surrounds me. I don’t remember when, but I know that I’ve been here before.
Deja vu. Sleeping memory awakes.Or, we may be sensing memory buried in invisible and exquisite existence, light, or objects. Deja vu is the window in everyday life that is open to the other world.
At the top of ascending stairs, a portal of white space appears. Water, a 20 cm deep pool, is installed on the floor. A gentle slope goes down to the bottom. The space is surrounded by mirrors, angling against the walls by 45 degrees. Water and sky surround the visitors. The mirrors reflect the sky and wind-rippled waves.
008 The Blue Room
[Quietly Awaken Power]
Faint, dim, floating light surrounds me. The moonlight waxes and wanes. The other world seems to envelop me.
We can’t sense the scale of nature surrounding the world, nor its ubiquitous existence around us. The multiplied and pluralistic cosmos, however, starts from here and now.
The visitors take off all of their clothes and walk into the pool. The ceiling and the bottom of the pool shine in blue. All the walls are also painted blue. The skin, too, is awash with blue.
009 Room of Pillars
[Wrapping and Being Wrapped]
Lost in a pampas field. I don’t know where I am. Nobody can see me. It reminds me of my childhood, chasing the sunset home.
You are sometimes forced into isolation. Nobody else but yourself can comfort you. After going back to your memory, encountering something, you return to a different place from where you began.
Pillars create ambiguous sight. Going deep inside the ordered space, the pillars and floor become tilted and disarrayed. Various texts, which help to awake the visitors’ memories, are placed here and there on the pillars.
010 Exponential Multiplicities
[Identities Lost ]
The night view of the city suddenly appears. Beautiful yet monstrously oppressive, the landscape spreads out before me. Its vast energy has uncontrollable insanity inside of it.
The power in human existence in totality, the overwhelming avarice of it all, cannot be denied. Everyone says nature is so awesome, yet, compared with the landscape of human desire, it seems rather fragile and impermanent.
Red lights are buried in the floor. They slowly blink in grids. The visitors accelerate the blinking when they step on the lights.
011 Into the Woods
[A Glass Eden]
I saw nature before me as so beautiful and severe. Contact was heartlessly prohibited. It would not change in any way if I died right here at this moment.
We are merely observers of “nature” and of others. We don’t know any better than to transform and consume “nature” in order to survive. Our inner cosmos, however, is surely “nature” within us. Human existence contradicts itself : nature and anti-nature at the same time.
Walls surround “nature.” In the center of the space, there is a passage made with glass walls, where the naked visitor walks. Glass doors suddenly block the path. How would we feel when the outside air abruptly touches our skin? We know that “nature” is our origin but we go farther and farther away from it.
012 Passage of the Past
[Who I Used to Be]
Everything seemed to alienate me in the town where I used to live in my childhood. Yet, I was so familiar with those walls and roads. An alter-ego, completely different from my present self, lives in the distant realm of my memory.
There is no world of memory. The clues needed to find it are completely distorted. I have also changed. Until I was forced to see this fact, memory stayed in its old form. Now, the world keeps turning into the past and the past is being connected to the present. It is not a sentiment. It is what it is. That is all.
In the center of the space, there are series of walls on which life-sized human figures are projected. As the visitors stand in front of the walls, the projected figures smile and talk to them in silence. The projections gradually disappear. Moving to the side, the walls become mirrors as the figures morph into the visitors themselves.
013 The Tactile Passage
[Ruins in Our Hearts]
I encountered a dead man. We talked about his memory and I saw myself from the past. His life was intertwined with mine.
Death is a gap in our everyday lives. Because of its depth and darkness, our senses are attracted to it. Through death, we can see our everyday lives from a distance. Memory is passed on as a new story and circulated among other lives. Death is dry and substantial. It exists in absolute time to guide our consciousness to the most profound place.
This space is in complete darkness. The passage is made with soft walls. The visitor moves along, touching the surface. The smooth, waving walls remind us of being inside our mother’s womb.
014 The Destruction Room
Trapped in the prison of emotion, I don’t know how to escape.
Something small can catch fire and spread. In the end, you don’t know what caused it all. We can be a victim anytime, or a victimizer as well.
In this passageway, objects in the process of changing or of being destroyed, are projected in reverse motion. Visitor movement is also recorded every two seconds and projected in reverse motion on the walls.
015 Stratum Library
The past formed who I am. History formed the world today. We cannot deny the past. We cannot forget what we have lost.
Looking over history from a distance, human existence is objectively exposed. History repeats itself.
The exit is on the ground level and at the top of the structure. “Everyday life” is the ultimate place to which one must return. The center is a stratified pillar and around it is a maze of stairs and passages. The visitor sometimes goes back to the path to walk around in the complex structure and to look at the books placed on the walls.
016 Passage to Everyday Life
[A Floating Self, Belonging Nowhere]
“What seems to be good to me may hurt other people. But I have no choice but to do it,” said a blind girl.
In this chaotic world, we try to hold on to some standards. Paradoxically, these standards, which have been long constructed, can fall apart in a moment. Fragile and momentary equilibrium is a necessity of existence. When you force a change in this balance, you fall into the abyss.
Only when you realize the impossibility of it all can you accept others. Only after you lose proscribed notions of “keeping it together,” do you realize that there is a grand standard called life and death.
The audience can feel and put together various elements of everyday life around them and slowly return to the world. The long passage forms a gentle descending slope. It starts with a tunnel, removed from the surrounding environment. As the visitors proceed, light and sound slowly come in and everyday life appear in view. After walking up the straight stairs, they go out into ordinary crowds.
[Translated by Hamilton Armstrong Miura & Setsuko Miura, thanks for their wonderful translation.]