Naoki Yoshimoto performing IRON MAN by Black Sabbath

Fans are Artists. Artists are Fans.

The Yokohama-Hamburg-Conversation-Project


By Michael Kress, Hamburg, 2014


A kind of homage to Yoko Ono’s “Grapefruit”

Five canal video installation, an imagination  of acoustic memories

Reconstructing ZOUNOHANA TERRACE as unique video-light-box

A cooperation with 35 Yokohama based artists

Giving an account of the moment of initialization for an artistic life by a single song.



“Japanese and German are the best Fans in the world”.


Since the beginning of the sixties, there is an important relationship between art and popular culture (POP).

Both fields reflect an upcoming interest in everyday life and follow a similar strategy of deconstruction of common aesthetic perceptions. Nearly all artists since that time have a strong impact in both areas and source their inspirations for their own artistic acts in a kind of constant back and forth. Pop music like Rock, Blues, Soul or Punk provides the first contact to the own aesthetic self-definition, as a kind of a pop ID. Since POP is everywhere in daily life it is an all over first contact, a kind of artistic infection with a common language of art. Music makes us a witness of our time and vice versa it documents our own time. The first kiss, the first love, the first contact with each one particular key song designs a sort of an initialization rite in each coming of age. So generations of artists are grown in this particular artistic ground. It is a ground, a soil where art as part of different cultures could be cultivated in a fertile exchange and thereby create new aesthetic constellations.


Since we travel in less than a day from one part of the world to the other, cultural identification follows a global exchange of information. A dialogue between two single persons begins with a careful harmonization about issues of common meaning. POP shows us where we are and who we want to communicate with. Starting a communication with other cultures could also have a beginning in defining common experiences and aesthetic influences.


The Yokohama-Hamburg-Project starts a conversation with artists in Yokohama follows the structure of the way we use to start to talk to one other: We try to find a common sense. Talking about the weather is helpful in this meaning since it belongs to each one’s daily experience. And to ask the other one about their one and the only first piece of music is like carefully coding the other. The recognition of each singular aesthetic base gives us a chance to follow each aesthetic draft, displaying a universal artistic cognition beyond language.


The ADORE-Project is an attempt to research the role of the artists in society. Does it raise the following questions: How does it happen to become an artist? Do artists follow a common role? What is the myth of the artist? Are artists fans? And finally: Are fans artists?


As a kind of homage to Yoko Ono’s “Grapefruit”, a book of instructions and drawings, the video installation ADORE features the artistic origins of 35 Yokohama based artists. ADORE makes the artist remember each individual starting point. In a kind of ‘headbanger’ performance, the artist adores their first song, a key to each individual artistic initialization process. The video installation is visualizing music as a moment of an artistic entity as fans of art. And so the ADORE-Project reminds us to a silent karaoke version and is there by my homage to the artists of Yokohama!