Sarkis: Interpretation of Cage / Ryoanji
Interpretation of Cage / Ryoanji

Curator: Melih Fereli

15 November 2013-12 January 2014
An excerpt from Kudsi Erguner and Jean-François Lagrost's live interpretation performed on 15 November 2013.
Exhibition view: "Interpretation of Cage / Ryoanji", Arter, 2013
Photo: Serkan Taycan
Sarkis, "Partition de flûte Ryoanji / Cage selon Sarkis" [Cage / Ryoanji flute partition according to Sarkis] (2012)
Watercolour on paper
96 sheets, 57 × 76 cm each
Photo: Serkan Taycan
Albeit many years apart, John Cage and Sarkis found inspiration in the famous Ryoanji Zen garden (Japan) that led to the creation of the three works included in this exhibition. Sarkis' first encounter with the solo flute score of Cage's Ryoanji inspired him as if this were "the dance of lines on a blank paper and of calligraphy" which he trailed with his fingerprints culminating in 96 watercolours entitled "Partition de flûte Ryoanji / Cage selon Sarkis" [Cage, Ryoanji, flute partition according to Sarkis].

Upon entering the third floor gallery of Arter, the viewer encountered these soothing waves constituting the main work in the exhibition, while the other two works, plans of the Zen garden, entitled "Ryoanji interpretation opus n°2, Kyoto", 2012, and "D'après Ryoanji" [After Ryoanji], 2012 flanked the centrepiece at each end of the gallery.

As a result of Melih Fereli's curatorial intervention, the exhibition attained an important dimension, bringing together two great musicians, Kudsi Erguner (ney) and Jean-François Lagrost (shakuhachi) in a musical interpretation of Sarkis' watercolours. Diffused in the gallery throughout the exhibition (looping to the start on the hour, 20 and 40 minutes past the hour), this unique pre-recorded interpretation beckoned the viewer to listen carefully, as if it were a "call" on Ryoanji, almost witnessing the blending of locations that are remote, both geographically and culturally, and thus enhancing the expressivity of Sarkis' "sound-trails".