Supported by the Arts Council and Wicklow County Council


Yurika Higashikawa
Literary Monuments
October 2022
Kunstverein Aughrim

In 2022 Kunstverein Aughrim commissioned aritst Yurika Higashikawa to devise a writing workshop and develop a new text-based work in collaboration with members of Aughrim Active Retirement Group. 

The one-day writing workshop became a collective exercise in remembering forgotten or soon to be buried words, experimenting with the materiality of words by treating language as a raw material that can lend itself to alternative methods of world building. During the workshop words were broken down and turned into something new, turns of phrase that had been forgotten were remembered and rehabilitated, seemingly mundane forms of language were sifted through to find hidden gems of significant meaning. The words that were gathered during the workshop were then reassembled into a pair of vertical banners. The narratives, purposefully slippery, resist literal interpretations but instead seek to stand (or drape) as literary monuments to how we could potentially mould, construct, transfer, commune and common our relationship to our surroundings.

Inspired by the immediate surrounds of Kunstverein Aughrim - a place that is often referred to as ‘The Granite City’ due to the presence of granite in the area and the large amount of local buildings that were constructed using this highly durable substance - the project dealt with the materiality of language, suggesting how it also gives our world durability and permanence through its inherent mutability. Overall the project sought to collapse our rigid relationship to certain ascribed uses of language in order to rethink how we find our footing in the words we utter and the stories we tell. Relationally, the work both mirrors and undermines certain formal or allegorical aspects of the stubborn granite Monument that was erected in 1998 to commemorate the 1798 Rebellion, and which stands directly in front of the kunstverein. 

This commission was made possible with the support of Wicklow County Council and The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon.