Yellow brick  /  Steps  /  STEP 19 | Hikikomori, the sleeping rebel

STEP 19 | Hikikomori, the sleeping rebel

with Fleuryfontaine22/03/23, 21/03/2023 Steps

Hikikomori in Japanese, describes the behavior of certain youngsters, still teenagers or just becoming adults, choose to escape from the world by refusing to get out of their bedroom. They then start a retreat, without almost no direct social interactions whatsoever. This phenomenon, observed since the beginning of the 21st century, puzzles sociologists, psychologists and psychiatrists. They don’t know yet if they have to look at it as a pathology close to depression, or if they’re facing a new social turn, a new way of life. This attitude breaks with everything we know, in terms of rebellious acts. Those are usually a lot more demonstrative and spectacular, but isn’t it exactly why this one seems to be effective and so hard to grasp? Staying away from society, avoiding any parts in roles it compel them into: hikikomoris are making a reality of the Invisible Committee’s injunction: “disappear!”. During the residence at Yellow brick, we want to explore that will of disappearance and focus on the place where those acts of rebellion take place: the bedroom. We want to show and celebrate this space somewhere out of the world, out of capitalism, open to boredom, laziness and reverie. We will create an installation and a series of drawings that explore those ideas and depict this suspended state where the hikikomoris are evolving in. We also want to contact a hikikomori in Japan or maybe in Greece if we can (this phenomenon is now worldwide) and speak with him or her, to understand its routines and its motivations, to enter his or her world, his or her intimacy. Then, we want to bring back this dialogue into the exhibition, either by filmed performances, texts, or recordings. This residency will be a step in a bigger project we are working on: a movie about hikikomoris. We planned to use the material of what we will do at Yellow Brick into the movie and vice versa: we will use the research we do for the movie to enrich our work during the residency.

STEP 19 was cancelled due to covid-19.

We form an artists duo who question the interactions between man and his environment by making information and communication technologies his field of experimentation. Our work can take the form of installations, performances as well as digitally generated images. After studying in architecture school at Paris Malaquais during which we made our first exhibitions together, we worked in architects agencies before starting art studies at Paris-Cergy. Our duo practice became exclusive, under the pseudonym fleuryfontaine (Galdric Fleury + Antoine Fontaine). Selected at the Salon de Montrouge 2015, and rewarded by the Ekimetrics price, we went the same year in Bruges during a two-month residency before returning for the second time to a residency in South Korea for a month and a half. In 2016, we were selected at Jeune Création at Thaddaeus Ropac Gallery (Pantin) and we alternate various exhibitions between Seoul, Hong Kong, the Musée d’Orsay in Paris and finally London for a one month residency. More recently we have presented our work in Paris in many various places, from an artist run space like Glassbox to institutions such as le Musée de la Chasse.