TEXT   (Japanese)

April, 2018 ---- from Catalog "Ieshibari Home-Binding Project" vol.2

Ieshibari Home-Binding Project

The Ieshibari Home-Binding Project is an art project where a whole house is tied up crosswise by the family who lives there, their friends and other participants, like a birthday present or a cake box. There are no fixed rules; everybody brings along their own skills and ideas, but the final butterfly knot is tied by the family members alone. This is the climax of the whole event, after which a group picture is taken of all the participants in front of the tied-up house.

"About Home-Binding"
“Home-binding” is a new type of Jomon-style art.* When a family and their friends bind their home crosswise, the rope leaves memories and traces, formed by the shape and atmosphere of the bound home itself, as well as the presence, values, and aesthetics of the various participants.
         As the home is being tied up, its familiar but vague image as part of the landscape gradually becomes clearer. Furthermore, at precisely the same time as the family home is tied in knots, the ambivalent feeling of being freed from its shackles is turned into a kind of sculpture.
        My aim with this project is to create and let people experience a new type of Jomon-style art that lingers in the mind and leaves memories of the used rope ? cord marks, as it were. However, each home-binding event actually also becomes a bit of a festival.

* The Jomon period was the pre-historic era of Japan from about 16,500 to 2,300 years ago. Japan was inhabited by a hunter-gatherer culture who created highly intricate pottery by impressing cords into the wet clay. The term “Jomon” is actually a translation of the English word “cord-marked," a phrase first used by the American scholar Edward S. Morse.

"Family Aesthetics"
Each home is affected by the lifestyle, traditions and sense of beauty of the family that lives there, what I call their “family aesthetics.” In a home-binding, the family joins forces with their friends and neighbors and other collaborators to basically bind their home crosswise with rope.
         The number of participants varies greatly from event to event. Sometimes it is just the family and some close friends, sometimes a large crowd helps out to bind the house. There are no fixed rules and I don’t tell people what to do; I just give a brief explanation of the process and then work out the plan together with the other participants as the binding proceeds. As a consequence, everybody’s sensibilities, sense of values and beauty appear in the shape and mood of the rope used to bind the house, and the final result, the bound home, is a product of the “family aesthetics.”

"Using Rope"
Jomon pottery, figurines and other ancient Japanese artifacts utilized rope as a medium of expression, and rope is still widely used all across the country at Shinto shrines and festivals to demarcate sacred spots and objects. Few, if any, other cultures in the world have such a long artistic and religious relationship with rope, I believe. Although few people nowadays are aware of its special characteristics, rope is almost genetically part of the deepest layers of Japanese culture and spirituality.
         By exploring and expanding the expressive possibilities of rope as a medium I meet a lot of people, who help me create unexpectedly interesting works.
                                                                                                                                       (Translated by Yan Fornell)

October 21, 2014 ----
Ieshibari Binding Homes

        A home is usually a building, something that stands on the ground in a certain place. At the same time, it is also a record of the stories of the people who live there, have lived there in the past, or by extension will live there in the future, and their families and friends. It is a sort of ambiance that pervades the house, something you can feel with your heart.

         Rope *1 is a medium that appears throughout Japanese culture, from 16,000-year-old Jomon pottery *2 to the heavy ropes worn by present-day yokozuna, the grand masters of sumo wrestling, and the shimenawa ropes that cordon off sacred objects and spaces all over the place. To anyone living in Japan, rope is an old and familiar material and tool, an intimate, tangible and real presence in the local cultural background.

         Expanded to the anthropological scale, ropes have probably existed since the birth of humankind, and connect to the latest superstring theories, pending verification, according to which the universe itself is supposed to consist of tiny strings.

         Rope is the medium with which we together tie a house crosswise. When a house is bound crosswise with rope*3, the rope becomes a medium between us and the house. It becomes a decryption device, a machine for translating into the language of art, a pictorially expandable matrix that transforms the house into a work of art.

         The basic binding pattern is a simple crosswise tie, like for a bundle of newspapers, that divides the house into four sections*2. After a certain period of time the rope is untied again. The house is released, now "tagged" with a memory, a trace of the rope. In continuity with the cord-marked Jomon pottery*3, the house has become a Jomon-style house, and a series of photographs are taken of the bound house to commemorate the craft of rope-marking and to keep as contemporary Jomon-style works of art.

         A home-binding is an event where many people get to appreciate rope as a medium in an artistic context and together create a work of art.
*1 Rope: Including cords, lines, strings, wire, twine, etc.
*2 The name of the prehistoric Jomon culture (from about 14,500 BC to 300 BC) is actually the Japanese translation of "cord-marked," a term first used by the American scholar Edward S. Morse in 1877 with respect to its characteristic style of pottery.
*3 Division into four sections: When I was a child, I sometimes got dizzy spells when seeing groups of four. Ever since, I have considered groups of four as something that dismantles the binds of understanding, makes apperception impossible and renders powerless the ability to unify.

A home-binding is an event where the family who lives in the house, their friends, the local community, and anybody interested in home-binding can join in.
When there are a number of participants, the ropes are put in place, linked, turned and tied according to everybody's varying senses of values and aesthetics into a shared work of art. After the rope is untied, the memory of the bound house will linger in the minds of the participants.
This series of projects has resulted in a complex and multifarious web of relationships, and while capturing the environment, at the same time leads to somehow flat, pictorial memories and traces of the crosswise bound and quartered houses that will eventually become a Jomon story.
                                                                                                                                     (Translated by Yan Fornell)

 ▼The English text is under construction

November 15, 2014 ----
About Four, Kant

January 22, 2014 ----
Ishibari and a knot

December 15, 2013 ----
Ishibari and Litmus paper

October 2011 ----

June 2010 ----
--with Hiroaki Sumiya

April 2010 ----

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