The Wire

The world's greatest print and online music magazine. Independent since 1982


Akio Suzuki’s Rolling Stone launches in Denmark

The exhibition runs until 8 September at Kunsthal 44Moen in Askeby

A new exhibition of Akio Suzuki has opened in Askeby on the Danish island of Møn. Called Rolling Stone, it presents a collection of Suzuki’s sound sculptures as well as a video documentary demonstrating how they generate sound.

One work, titled The Place Of Translation, is dedicated to the memory of the late Danish composer and Fluxus member Henning Christiansen (1932–2008), who moved to Askeby with his wife, the feminist artist and film maker Ursula Reuter Christiansen, in 1969. “When I met Ursula Reuter Christiansen for the first time in 20 years,” remarks Suzuki in his notes about the work, “she said to me, ‘Henning is surely drinking in heaven now.’ The inspiration for this piece came from her words.”

Suzuki constructed the piece from the island’s distinctive white chalk-flecked rocks “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 those seafolk, 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,” continues Suzuki in his notes. “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 The stone that represents the shite (the main actor who plays the role of the spirit in a noh play) pillar has been replaced by a flowerpot that I painted green in memory of Henning’s trademark colour.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.”

Rolling Stone runs until 8 September at Kunsthal 44Moen in Askeby. Read a recently published interview in which Tomoko Sauvage speaks to Suzuki about o to da te, space and magic stones.