Interview with the participating artists: Florencia Rodriguez Giles

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Interviews by email were conducted with the artists who are featured in Home Again-10 Artists Who Have Experienced Japan, during which they spoke about their experience in Tokyo and their artistic response.

Florencia Rodriguez Giles, who did her residence in 2009, makes fanciful drawings and installations with stage sets and costumes used in plays or stage performances as their motif. On the first day of the exhibition, Giles presented a performance involving two ballet dancers.

These interviews were conducted by Arts Initiative Tokyo (AIT).

Based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Giles studied at the National University of the Arts in Buenos Aires. She makes drawings or installations using stage sets, props and costumes, creating scenes that appear to be taken from a play. She incorporates mythical imagery and narratives from sources that include Japanese Noh and Greek plays to create a whimsical world uniquely her own. In her drawings made during her residency in 2009, she combined mythical imagery with her impressions of Japan.

Q1: You have been long interested in theatre and fictional narratives – what most impressed you in Japan? Were there any specific experiences you had here which influenced your work?

The residence experience determined most of the works that I produced upon my return. In fact, Fictional Islands converted into a plan for a work done two years later.
One of the Japanese discoveries that most influenced my work was the Noh theatre. For a long time I have been working on religious and fictional confluence, and in that sense Noh Theatre has shown me this encounter in an absolute way. On the other hand, the butoh classes, taken during the residency, were a tremendous input, as they gave me the chance to experience some aspects that both disciplines have in common.

Q2: Can you tell me something about your new work for the Hara museum? It is something like a prayer, with dancers acting out a silent ritual of sorts?

The work Unfallen Names presents the possibility of a demystified prayer (without religion). Part of the work was designed following an idea of some Sufis, for whom, at the time of prayer there is no difference between the creation of text and the evocation of it. But, as my interest is located on the religious situation without a history or tradition, I decided that the text is absent and that this absence guides the prayer.