The Yale School of Art is pleased to announce the appointment of Aki Sasamoto as Assistant Professor in Sculpture. Set to begin her appointment in July 2018, Aki Sasamoto’s work is positioned at the intersection of performance and sculpture where she creates object scenarios out of narratives and actions.
In an interview published in Studio International, the artist reflects on her practice as akin to composing a score:
“I think performance can deal with identity and I do use identity a lot in my work, but not as a necessity - my politics are a lot more low-key. There are a lot of relationships in 20th-century performance between the performer’s body and identity, but if you go back further, it’s more an act of translation: an energetic translation - particularly if you look at dance. For me, that is a way to connect subject matter to its performance body - both as equals - where the body simply activates the subject matter. I cannot really spot, this is what I do: it’s just flowing between art and life, between me and another person, between object and body.”
As her performance and installation works often incorporate lectures, demonstrations and audience participation, Aki Sasamoto understands teaching as a natural extension of her art practice, engaging her audiences as well as her students with, in her own words, “personified worldviews, unfolding the message behind the language of objects and triggering reflections that linger long past the theatrical encounters.”
Marta Kuzma, the Dean of Yale School of Art, notes: “Aki Sasamoto’s appointment to the tenure track faculty of the Yale School of Art reflects our commitment to providing to students a wide range of perspectives, including non-Western influences with respect to the body and identity. Additionally, as a teacher and an artist, Sasamoto further contributes to the rich dialogue between performance, sculpture and installation as developed since 2012 by Martin Kersels, Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in Sculpture at Yale School of Art.” Professor Kersels adds: “Aki will perfectly fit in with Yale Sculpture and the wide-ranging interests of its graduate students. Her vital enthusiasm and eclectic sensibilities will only add to the already dynamic energy and breadth of the program.”
Born 1980 in Kanagawa, Japan, Sasamoto comes to the Yale School of Art from the Mason Gross School of Art at Rutgers University where she had been Assistant Professor in Sculpture since 2014, in addition to a having served as a member of Columbia University MFA’s Mentor program from 2012 to 2015. Having earned an MFA from Columbia University School of Art and a BA from Wesleyan University, Sasamoto’s exhibition history includes Delicate Cycle, a recent solo exhibition at SculptureCenter in Long Island City, along with numerous group exhibitions such as Out Of Doubt: Roppongi Crossing 2013, Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, Japan (2013); A Spoken Word Exhibition, Jeu de Paume in Paris, France (2013); A LIKENESS HAS BLISTERS, Hessel Museum of Art at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, NY (2012); and the 2010 Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. Recent performances include Sunny in the Furnace, The Kitchen in New York (2014) and WE LIVE WITH ANIMALS for Performa 13 in New York (2013).
Photo courtesy the artist.
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