For the past 40 years Seiichi Furuya has taken pictures of the world around him. Though primarily known for those he took of his wife, Christine, he has also shot photographs of political demonstrations, children, refugees, and a multitude of banal scenes that one would have been exposed to living mostly in East Berlin and Graz, Austria, since the 1970’s. From these photos, Furuya has made groupings to be presented in exhibitions and books that reflect how he has felt about given periods from the distance of when the selections were made. These acts of organization can be seen as a way of carving the totality of his images into a form. The other two artists’ works shown here also engage the notion of selection, albeit producing very different results. Yuji Agematsu, in his culling of detritus off the streets of New York from the infinite possibilities presented there for him, and Jean-Luc Moulène through the removal of material to create the contours of his objects. Though distinct in their use of tools and mediums, each artist displays his selected formulations in the show — chosen images, claimed remnants and remaining matter.
Seiichi Furuya (b. 1950, Izu, Japan) graduated from Tokyo College of Photography in 1973, then left the port of Yokohama to travel to Europe on the Trans-Siberian Railway. He lived in Vienna until he moved to Graz in 1975. There, he met Christine Gössler (born 1953) in February 1978. The couple married in May of the same year. Their son, Komyo Klaus, was born in 1981. In 1982, they moved to Vienna so that Christine could study drama. In 1984, Seiichi took a job as an interpreter and the family moved to Dresden, East Germany; and then in 1985, to East Berlin. That same year, following her arduous and extended struggle with schizophrenia, Christine threw herself from a window on the 9th floor of the tenement building where the family lived. After his wife’s tragic death, Seiichi continued to work as an interpreter in East Berlin until 1987. He then returned to Graz, where he has lived with his son, Komyo, to this day.
Since 1975, Furuya has had numerous exhibitions, both in Europe and overseas, at such venues as Forum Stadtpark and Camera Austria, Graz, Fotomuseum Winterthur, Albertina, Vienna, Vangi Sculpture Garden Museum, Shizuoka, and Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography. Recent solo exhibitions have been held at the Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst, Leipzig, Technische Sammlungen Dresden, Kunsthaus Dresden, Heidelberger Kunstverein, and the Museum für Photographie Braunschweig. Furuya’s works are included in the public collections of the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
He has published several photo books featuring Christine, starting with his Mémoires 1978-1988 (Camera Austria, 1989) and continuing with Mémoires 1995 (Scalo Books, 1995), Christine Furuya-Gössler, Mémoires 1978-1985 (Korinsha Press, 1997), Portrait (Fotohof, 2000), Last Trip to Venice (self-pulished, 2002), Mémoires 1983 (Akaaka Art Publishing, 2006) and Mémoires 1984-1987 (Izu Photo Museum and Camera Austria, 2010) with a text by Einar Schleef. In 2014 the book Staatsgrenze. 1981 – 1983 was published (Spector Books).
Furuya is one of the founders and editors of the photography magazine Camera Austria, and has curated exhibitions introducing Japanese photographers to Europe, such as Daido Moriyama (Graz, 1980), Shomei Tomatsu: Japan 1952–1981 (Graz 1984), Nobuyoshi Araki Akt-Tokyo, 1971-1991 (Graz 1992), and Keep in Touch: Positions in Japanese Photography (Graz 2003).
Jean-Luc Moulène (b. 1955, Reims, France) studied Aesthetics and Sciences of Art at the Sorbonne University in Paris, where he currently lives and works. He participated in the Taipei Biennial (2016 and 2004), the Sharjah Biennial (2010), the First International Biennial of the Image (Laos, 2007), the Venice Biennial (2003), the Sao Paulo Biennial (2002), and Documenta X (1997). Among the institutions that have dedicated solo exhibitions to his work are the Secession (2017), Centre Pompidou (2016-2017), Villa Medici, Rome (2015), Kunstverein Hannover (2014), Dia:Beacon (2012), Carré d’art-Musée d’art contemporain, Nîmes (2009), Culturgest, Lisbon (2007), Musée du Louvre, Paris (2005), and Centre d’Art Contemporain de Genève (2003). Moulène’s work has been included in group exhibitions at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Palais de Tokyo (Paris), WIELS Contemporary Art Centre (Brussels), Witte de With (Rotterdam), ARC / Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Le Magasin (Grenoble), Grey Art Gallery (New York), Musée des Beaux-Arts de Beaune, Yokohama Museum of Art, Triennale de Milano, KW Institute for Contemporary Art (Berlin), Museum Ludwig (Cologne), De Appel (Amsterdam), Grand Palais (Paris), Landesmuseum Joanneum GmbH Kunsthaus (Graz), Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris), Kunstverein Nürnberg, and elsewhere. Hole, Bubble, Bump., his second solo exhibition at Miguel Abreu Gallery, was on view in the fall of 2017.
Yuji Agematsu (b. 1956, Kanagawa, Japan) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Agematsu studied with Tokio Hasegawa, a member of the band Taj Mahal Travellers, and the jazz drummer and choreographer Milford Graves. He has had solo exhibitions in New York at TZ’Art & Co. (1993), Anthology Film Archives (2004), Real Fine Arts (2012, 2014), and Miguel Abreu Gallery (2017), as well as Yale Union, Portland (2014), Artspeak, Vancouver (2014), and the Power Station, Dallas (2018), and he was the focus of Walk on A, B, C, organized by Jay Sanders at the Whitney Museum of American Art (2015). Among other group exhibitions, Agematsu’s work was included in The Keeper, curated by Massimiliano Gioni, New Museum, New York (2016), Speak Lokal, Kunsthalle Zurich (2017), Serialities, organized by Olivier Renaud-Clément, Hauser & Wirth, New York (2017), Ritual, curated by Courtenay Finn, Aspen Art Museum (2017), as well as in Looking Back / The 7th White Columns Annual, New York, selected by Richard Birkett (2013). He is currently participating in Objects Like Us, curated by Amy Smith-Stewart, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgfield, CT through January 2019. His work is in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, and in the Pinault Collection.