Work (Bell)

one bell from Work (Bell)
© Ryoji Ito and the former members of the Gutai Art Association
Courtesy Ashiya City Museum of Art & History

Work (Bell) was created for the first exhibition of the avant-garde Gutai group in Tokyo in 1955, a group of which Atsuko Tanaka was a member until 1965. Gutai approximately means concreteness and denotes an artistic practice that focuses intensely on questions of materiality, space and time. Work (Bell) consists of a series of twenty electric bells that are installed at regular intervals on the floor alongside the walls of the exhibition spaces. If a visitor presses a button, one bell after the other begins to ring. The piercing sounds at first wander away from the starting point, then return to it, thus acoustically measuring out the space. Tanaka himself spoke of Work (Bell) as a landscape painting that draws space with sounds. This very early, purely sound-based work also embodies the concept of a direct and active relationship between the artwork and the viewer and the removal of the border between art and life.



This work is issued in following texts