A Tale of Two States is an exhibition of the project produced during Naoko's residency in 2007. The title of the show borrows its name from the novel written in 1859 A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, of a story about two cities, Paris as the dangerous place and London as the (temporarily) safe spot, during the French revolution. This fictional novel shows social revolution and personal self-sacrifice, a conception of rebellion and human nature.
The project focuses on ‘real’ and also power relationship within the society through social interaction. Although the project does not have direct relationship to the narrative in the novel itself, and it relates more to the problematic environment in Palestine, they speak about the two states, two authorities, one as ‘repressed place’ and the other as ‘protected place’.
NaoKo TakaHashi’s wide-ranging practice incorporates performance, installations, books, films, drawings and sculpture, sometimes in collaboration with other artists and musicians. Her work deals with issues of translation and confusion of identity played out through language. She uses conceptual and humorous writing to explore spaces, both physical and social, and reveal the ambiguities and inconsistencies of communication and social identity.
Her practice is both challenging and immensely moving, often combining vocal or textual narratives with interventions into, or representations of, social and cultural environments. TakaHashi frequently incorporates different media into work, representative of her interest in the tensions of communication through language, and often plays with the scale of the work evoking the personal and the intimate within the vast complexity of society.
TakaHashi was born in Nigata, Japan in 1973 and migrated to the UK in 1992. She studied at the Slade School of Fine Art and Chelsea College of Art and Design in London. She has exhibited and performed widely in the UK, Europe and the Middle East including Tate Modern, Raven Row and the Whitechapel Gallery in London (UK), the Centre for Contemporary Art, Glasgow (UK), Riso Museo d’arte Contemporanea Della Sicilia, Palermo (Italy), Nikolaj Copenhagen Contemporary Art Centre, Copenhagen and Museum of Contemporary Art, Roskilde (Denmark), Bozar, Brussels (Belgium), Darat Al Funun, The Khalid Showman Foundation, Amman (Jordan), the 3rd Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki (Greece), La Triennale 2012, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (France) and the 3rd AiM International Biennale, Marrakesh (Morocco), the first major trilingual biennale in North Africa. TakaHashi has participated in the Sharjah Biennial 7’s Artist in residency programme, Sharjah (UAE) and has been working on a long-term project with La’partement 22, Rabat (Morocco). One of her works, The Colour of Act at the Tall Towers (2007-09) is included in the permanent collection at CAMP, Jerusalem.
Alongside her art practice, TakaHashi has been working on a collaborative urban folk music project, The Marbles Jackson, with Terence Kirkbride who often plays drums and percussion for her art projects.