2002-／紙、コピー機／H42 x W29.7cm
『PUBLIC COPY』 についてのノート
Project "Public Copy"：岩井主税
Magazine：PAPERBACK Issue1, 2007, London
- Introduction -
The world is grinding out its regular business.
A big job.
Regular as clockwork.
The dominant worldly refrain becomes that of the tick-tock of
a mundane machine. A certain myopic turn, one that blocks the
capacity for self-critical development, blossoms in the mind of
It is as if regularity is a haven for safe thought and mindless
practice, a zone of non-effort − a stick for the blind.
Even so, we all know of ruptures, folds and discontinuities in
regularity. Those moments of clearance following which a new space
of full potential appears. It is precisely at those moments, in
those spaces, that the work of Chikara Iwai intervenes.
A simple book with blank pages, an error or publishing fault of
some kind, is taken and transformed by Iwai into a chronological
document of his creative activity. A picture a day is carefully
inscribed into each of the blank pages and slowly the trace of
a year emerges. What was once simply an empty statement, a fault
or disservice to the proper functioning of a regular machine,
is passionately reclaimed.
As an artwork, the book maintains a set of contradictions regarding
regularity − a set that is suspended across Iwai’s practice. Stated
again, Iwai moves in order to evoke regularity, in essence he
becomes regularity in order to comment upon its many delimiting
This process can again be seen in Iwai’s magnum opus, an ongoing
project entitled Public Copy. In the dark urban territory of nocturnal
Tokyo few beacons guide the willing night drifter. The unitary
luminescence of the 24hour convenience store stands alone as a
singular light in a dreaming cityscape. These stores, and there
are many, have for Iwai become indicative of the generification
of contemporary consumer culture. Each looks the same, acts the
same − the same, the same, the same…
Heading towards these bright points, Iwai once again enters the
orbit of the regular. Doubling his movement, it is to the brightest
points of these convenience stores − the photocopy machines −
that he gravitates.
The machine is engaged. A copy is made. Sometimes three.
Only the image of the naked glass, its subtle nuances, is recorded
onto each brilliant white sheet of copy paper. Dust particle,
smear, residue and scratch alike − each and every microscopic
element apparent on the glass surface - is transcribed and documented.
The revelation is that within the heart of the brightest of regular
machines a world of pure difference and complexity thrives.
Hope for all, then.
And so, the dynamic of Iwai’s work becomes clear. The copies produced
in each store have come to form a series of endless editions that
evoke a very special set of dual tensions.
Iwai allows us to think it all again.
Again. Hope for all.
Paul Pieroni, 2007