Gallery Bookshelf


101010 New-Method on TANA
10.10.10 -10.10.20

Methodicism, founded by Nakazawa Hideki on 1 January 2000, has explored reductionist approachs on the method, not on the form as formalism ended up with materialistic essentialism of the flat surface, in order to distill structural logics penetrating material forms and symbolic genres. New-Methodicism, newly declared on 4 September 2010, by Nakazawa together with Hirama Takahiro and Baba Shogo, aims at advancing and perfecting its methodical reductionist dogma.

New-Methodicism will hold their first exhibition at TANA.

Artist Information

New-Method is what New-Method is. http://7x7whitebell.net/new-method/

Hirama Takahiro is what Hirama Takahiro is. http://hrmtkhr.web.fc2.com/
Baba Shogo is what Baba Shogo is. http://7x7whitebell.net/
Nakazawa Hideki is what Nakazawa Hideki is. http://aloalo.co.jp/nakazawa/

"New-Methodicist Manifesto"
We hereby declare New-Methodicism.
New-Methodicist Manifesto is the manifesto of New-Methodicism.
New-Methodicism is what is declared here.
We are the New-Methodicist.

(cf.) http://aloalo.co.jp/nakazawa/method/01manifesto1_e.html
(url) http://7x7whitebell.net/new-method/

September 4th, 2010

Drafter and observer: Takahiro Hirama
Drafter and observer: Shogo Baba
Drafter and observer: Hideki Nakazawa


New-Method held their first exhibition New-Method on TANA at TANA. The exhibition was an execution of a simple composition piece to return books once removed from the shelf, and in particular to this case, resulting in an effect to undo the gallery and redo the bookshelf. Apart from the title, the artist, and the period of the exhibition, no other information was displayed together.

In order to re-store the books (whose depth was a little longer than that of the gallery) the gallery's front acrylic board was kept open and had been suspended during the exhibition period, which some misunderstood as the construction period, and others as the exhibit. As such, the exhibition was hardly noticeable so that many visitors could not find the exhibition by themselves, let alone much more of the passers-by.

New-Method made a detailed account on concept of the exhibition as well as their activity in the email-interview, and the art-historian Kae Ishii illustrated its atmosphere in her review contributed to New-Method's email bulletin "New-Method".

Mail-Interview with "New-Method"

- Please give a brief explanation for your exhibition at TANA.

H (Hirama): This exhibition was prompted by the offer from the gallerist. Our work is to return books to a shelf. We placed books onto the shelf.
B (Baba): TANA is a space that renovated one block of a bookshelf into a gallery. We returned books that the gallerist removed to start the gallery, which we made as our exhibition.
N (Nakazawa): In the process of constructing the gallery, the gallerist installed a transparent acrylic board in front of the space. But we had to keep the acrylic board open in order to return the books to the shelf. The gallerist kindly accepted our request, and we could realize this exhibition.

- Please introduce the group "New-Method". How has each member engaged with the group?

H: New-Method is New-Method. "New-Method" is "New-Method".
B: New-Method is a group espousing "New-Methodicism" to complete "Methodicism" that practically put an end to its activity in 2004. "New-Method" consists of three who gathered by the call of the artist and ex-Methodicist Hideki Nakazawa [three including Nakazawa], which then declared "New-Methodicist Manfesto" and published/distributed the email bulletin "New-Method" on 4 September, 2010. The bulletin will be published on 4th of every month. Hirama Takahiro, Baba Shogo and Hideki Nakazawa form the three members of the group, and there is no special difference among the members concerning engagement with the group.
N: Takahiro Hirama held a series of three one-man shows in this summer, one of which included the phrase "Method Music arriving 10 years behind". It inspired Nakazawa to form "New-Method". Shogo Baba used to be a member of "Method Machine" formed as an activity of Methodicism. Hideki Nakazawa used to be an ex-Methodicist.

- Please let us know more about Methodicism as the principle of "New-Method".

H: The doctrine that "New-Method" espouses is New-Methodicism. The word New-Methodicism includes the word Methodicism.
B: Methodicism is the doctrine that the group "Method" had espoused from 2000 to 2004. Methodicism is one type of reductionism in the field of art, and its reduction focused on the method, not on the form as formalism did, in attempt to talk of different forms of expressions, namely painting, poem and music, under the universal principle. Its three members consisted of an artist, a poet and a musician.
N: In New-Methodicist Manifesto, Methodicism is regarded as a "reference". We reference Methodicism but not necessarily take it as our principle. New-Methodicism is a different thing from Methodicism.

- What would distinguish New-methodicism from Methodicism launched in 2000.

H: While Methodicist Menifesto included the words "Method Painting" "Method Poem" and "Method Music" standing still, New-Methodicisist Manifesto does not include these words. While Methodicism declared that it "talks of" tautology, New-Methodicist Manifesto does not include the word. While the Methodicist explained tautology, the New-Methodicist executes tautology.
B: Methodicism juxtaposed painting, poem and music as conventional forms particular to art, and it "performed" tautology. New-Methodicism has advanced reduction on the method to its conclusion where even the word "art" will disappear, and it "executes" tautology. This is because New-Methodicists do not bear statuses like "Artist" "Poet" or "Musician" as Methodicism had acknowledged.
N: For example, while Method Music 10 years ago was performed by human, music of New-Methodicism needs only MIDI devises to execute. In one of Hirama's three exhibitions in August, 2010, MIDI devices were used to execute music. The phrase "Method Music arriving 10 years behind"manifested his view that Method music existed as a doctrine but had not yet been completed at the stage of composition.

- We held an opening event for this exhibition, which included dialogue between New-Method and a poet Sigeru Matsui, who took part in the former Methodicism, and free discussion with the audience. Let's take some comments from the talk event.
Contrary to the group's view that New-Methodicism belongs to modernism, some pointed that New-Methodicism seems to belong to post-modernism. How does New-Method understand modernism and post-modernism, and its activity in relation to these?

H: Nonsense signified by tautology can be interpreted to be the conclusion of modernism as reductionism or of postmodernism as hedonism. Methodicism was a movement that had taken it in the former way. Since New-Methodicism is to execute tautology, it does not need to distinguish the former and the latter. Thus New-Method does not deny the former, but it is possible to point out that New-Method appears to be the latter.
B: Methodicism dared to perform hedonism in order to endorse tautology at the meta-level. This corresponds to the stance of modernism. New-methodicism does not need to perform hedonism deliberately since it is to execute tautology. Thus it does not deny modernism, and it also accepts post-modernism.
N: As long as New-Methodicism includes the word "Methodicism", New-Methodicism connotes Methodicism as Deja vu. As long as post-modernism includes the word "modernism", post-modernism connotes modernism as Deja vu. The stance of New-Methodicism against Methodicism resembles to that of post-modernism against modernism. However, as long as New-Modernism includes the prefix "New-", New-Methodicism cannot avoid being modernism as Jamais vu.

- Some mentioned formalism or simulationism in relation to Methodicism. How does New-Methodicism resemble and differ from these doctrines?

H: Until the middle of the 20C, reductionism had been exclusively related to reduction to the form, namely formalism. Methodicism appeared in 2000 to declare and demonstrate that another reductionism exists as reduction to the method. Methodicism regarded itself as reductionism of the digital era based on the information in contrast to formalism as reductionism of the analog era based on the material.
B: Simulationism is a revival of anti-art in the late 20C. As long as anti-art includes the word "art", it connotes art as Deja vu. This reminds that New-Methodicism includes the word "Methodicism". If New-Mehodicism would remind us of simulationism, it is because of this schematic relation.
N: Resembalance and difference concerning formalism is problematic for Methodicism but not for New-Methodicism. Resemblance and difference concerning simulationism is problematic for New-Methodicism but not for Methodicism. Formalism and simulationism are different things, but simulationism may possibly simulate formalism. Methodicism and New-Methodicism are different things, but New-Methodicism may possibly reference Methodicism.

- While New-Method does not necessarily categorize itself as "art", some pointed out that New-Method appears very "artistic". How does New-Method position "art" to its activity?

H: Art is art. Pointing-out is pointing-out. New-Method is New-Method.
B: New-Method is a group to execute tautology while advancing reduction on the method to its conclusion where even the word "art" will disappear. If it is placed in a gallery, it will execute tautology of art. Regardless of our awareness or unawareness, it may possibly appear as anti-art to the audience. And anti-art may possibly be pointed out to be being very "artistic".
N: New-Methodicism references Methodicism, and Methodicism adheres to the word "art". Modernism which Methodicism acknowledges as reductionism is a synonym of self-criticism, and its advancement will lead its conclusion to anti-art. Therefore New-Methodicism will reference both the word "art" and anti-art. The entire absence of the word "art" in the New-Methodicist Manifesto corresponds to that New-Methodicism references both the word "art" and anti-art.

- New-Method seems denying the taste, but some pointed out that New-Method seems being tasteful in practice. How does New-Method regard the taste?

H: If New-Method seems denying the taste, it is because New-Methodicism includes the suffix "ism" as a doctrine. If New-Method seems being tasteful in practice, it is because the choice of the word "New-Methodicism" does not come from the doctrine. For New-Methodicism, the taste is regarded as the taste.
B: The observation that New-Method seems tasteful in practice can be a significant comment which exposes the fact that no doctrine can avoid standing on the taste; that in other words any doctrine does not have any rationale to be a doctrine. If a doctrine is still declared, it must mean that one has to acknowledge a doctrine in order to maintain validity within a certain system. Yet the awareness will involve self-criticism.
H: Methodicism in those days was also pointed out to be "tasteful in practice", and its doctrine was secured only on the acknowledgement of the taste and the effort required to keep it minimum, which simultaneously induced ironical romanticism. This resulted from the Methodicism's attempt to explain tautology. In New-Methodicism that executes tautology, the doctrine and the taste do not exclude each other. It matters little whether you call it New-Method-taste instead of New-Method-ism. MIDI devices will perform Method music better than human, but this is a matter of the taste as well as the doctrine. "New-Methodicism" was adopted by chance as the acknowledge of the doctrine fitted our taste much better than the profession of the taste.

- Please conclude with New-Method's next action or prospect.

H: We think of the next action as the next action, and the prospect as the prospect.
B: We regularly issue our e-mail bulletin "New Method" on 4th of every month, and we will possibly release our works irregularly. "Currency Intervention" we made on 21 September, 2010, is an example of the latter. As for the prospect, we have nothing to mention since New-Methodicism acknowledges itself not as a taste but as a doctrine.
N: Now that "New-Method" has been formed, its dissolution is being prospected. And the dissolution will prospect the formation of "New-New-Method".


Exhibition Review

New-Methodicists by Nature
Kae Ishii (Art Historian)

The content of the exhibition "New-Method on TANA" held last month at TANA, a gallery located within a bookshelf of a workshop Bigakko, was to return books that used to be there to the space again. A clear acrylic board in front of the gallery was kept open, the space was tightly filled up with magazines like "GARO" or "Music Magazine," and the exhibition was hardly distinguishable from other shelves. The owner of TANA would have never imagined to be forced to return the books once removed to open the gallery for its commemorative first exhibition. Audience who troubled oneself to visit the exhibition would have never imagined to be forced to appreciate just a shelf.

The New-Methodicists, however, must have little cared about how the owner or visitors would feel, and even the fact that it was the very first opportunity to demonstrate their work to the public. I suppose the exhibition was the result of a simple reaction to the given condition to "exhibit in a bookshelf," and the choice of books must not be made out of any special reason since any meaning other than the given condition was unnecessary. So it was natural for them to adopt the choice to use the most ordinary books for the shelf, that is, the books that used to be there before.

The characteristic of the New-Methodicists is that they thoroughly execute their doctrine by their very nature. They are so natural that their actions appear unpredictable, and they often betray our selfish expectations. As a result, they can realize situations rarely profitable for anybody such as this exhibition. Overwhelmed with their simple honesty when I managed to catch the last day of the exhibition, I couldn't move from the front of the shelf for a while.

Cited from "New-Method" No. 2


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