“Sapporo International Art Festival 2014,” photo: Yuko Mohri

Circus in the Ground

2014

Circus in the Ground is a work that unfolded across two venues — Seikatei, a guest house for visiting dignitaries situated next to a spring built during the late nineteenth century when Hokkaido was first developed, in a style that blends both Japanese and Western architectural elements (designated a Cultural Property of Sapporo City), and Chi Ka Ho, a man-made pedestrian space. This installation features arrangements of objects made out of everyday items and junk that Mohri salvaged from various cities.
The vibrations of the directional compass needles are arranged in a circular formation that causes this circuit of objects to turn “on” or “off.” Just like an actual circus that contains a “multiplicity of simultaneous visual and audible events,” to borrow John Cage’s phrase, these objects gradually take on the appearance of a circulating landscape that resembles an ecosystem of natural light, wind, gravity, and magnetic force.
In the Ainu language, the act of sensing (“hum-as”) can be traced to the presence of sound (“hum”), which comes into being when a circle (“kari”) occurs in multiples (“karikari”), which means “to reverberate”). The two venues become connected through these reverberations, producing multiple resonances like ripples across the surface of the spring water. Eventually, they call forth memories that reach into the deepest layers of the earth.

See also Circles/Circuits/Circus.

“Sapporo International Art Festival 2014,” photo: Keizo Kioku

photo: Yuko Mohri

photo: Yuko Mohri

photo: Yuko Mohri

photo: Yuko Mohri

photo: Yuko Mohri

photo: Yuko Mohri

video: Yuko Mohri

Circus in the Ground
2014
Materials: Compass, Fossil, Chime, Bell, Garden Funiture, Feather Duster, Ruler, Light, Umbrella, Gut, Motor, Light Bulb, Roll paper, Picture
Size: Dimensions variable, approximately 250 x 1200 x 1200 cm (Seikatei) / Dimensions variable, approximately 120 x 350 x 300 cm (Chi-Ka-Ho)
Venue: Seikatei / Chi-Ka-Ho
Form: Installation

Circus in the Ground