This project consists of a complex field of relationships between conceptual aspects of the pictorial and spatial practices of Japanese artist Midori Mitamura and Melbourne artist Ry Haskings. Conversations during Haskings’ 2019 artist residency/ solo exhibition in Tokyo and reflections on their meeting during Mitamura’s solo exhibition at MUMA in 2011 prompted a jointly conceived project, Pancratium. Pancratium refers to a Greek Olympic wrestling event from 648 BC to the Byzantine Christian era. Discussion on Olympics developed to explore the heterogeneous nature of the Pancratium’s tangled, interconnected, and grappling variety of moves considered alongside their approaches to installation practice.
Working with parallel concepts in their respective countries of Japan and Australia, Mitamura and Haskings have established a platform of enquiry not just into installation art but the intersection of ideas, aesthetic forms and material applications spanning their geographic regions. Mitamura sees the space activated by the installation depicting an incomprehensible intertwining of personal consciousness that freely travels back and forth between the boundaries of reality and fiction. Alongside this, Haskings is interested in the amalgamation of diverse elements in installation guided by approaches of filmmakers and writers, who use narrative to communicate multiple perspectives. Installation is used to develop pictorial and spatial relationships that engage a collection of historical, social and political events.