Counter Voice in the Air

Performance Video.

14 min.
1996
Courtesy Gallery Koyanagi

This performance is a repetition of a very simple action. Miyajima is suspended from the ceiling by a rope. He then counts down from 9 to 8, 7, 6, ...1. Then, at "0" he takes a deep breath and relaxes languidly, as if dead. Holding his breath for a moment, he looks up again and counts down again, repeating the process. He can count as fast as he wants, as loud as he wants, and as languid as he wants.

When he is counting down, the numbers are a metaphor for "life" and "0" is a metaphor for "death". The repetition of this represents the Buddhist view of life, "reincarnation" or "life and death," the dynamism of "life" that repeats itself forever.

When Miyajima is counting, he acts with thoughts of human "joy, anger and sorrow." When he is at zero, he thinks of death.