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You Never Know What Idea You Might Have

Motoko Fukuyama

A photo of storefront
A photo of storefront

Due to the process-based nature of the Session program, this project will undergo constant modifications; the features of this page provide accruing information on the project’s developments.

January 3–March 4, 2017

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On January 3, Motoko Fukuyama will begin work on You Never Know What Idea You Might Have, a two-month project that will forge links between Recess and Argo Electronics, located on Canal Street one block away from our storefront. Argo—a surplus electronics store that has been in existence since 1978 and is the last vestige of the Radio Row district in Lower Manhattan—will serve as both the subject for a new film by Fukuyama and the source of materials that a group of artists will use as props and narrative devices in the making of the film.

Throughout her Session, Fukuyama will present a range of guest artists with an opportunity to shop for intriguing objects from Argo’s inventory, while keeping in mind as their guiding motivation the store’s motto, “you never know what idea you might have.” The artists will return to Recess with the collected materials and concepts and will manipulate these as fodder for sculptures, poems, digital artworks, and more. Fukuyama will film the full range of the project’s activities, working toward the creation of a new quasi-documentary film about Argo’s history and its owner, David Lasevski. The Session will culminate with a screening of the film and a group exhibition of the guest artists’ creations.

As You Never Know What Idea You Might Have evolves, Recess will take on the appearance (and functionality) of a soundstage, production studio, and display space. Visitors will be invited to observe and participate as Fukuyama and the artists move back and forth between Argo and Recess, tracing a line of invention and experimentation across these distinct locations and reflecting on the personal and material histories that exist within the neighborhood.

Session invites artists to use Recess’s public platform to combine productive studio space with dynamic exhibition opportunities. Sessions remain open to the public from the first day of the artist’s project through the last, encouraging sustained dialogue between artists and audiences. Due to the process-based nature of Session, projects undergo constant revision and the above proposal is subject to change.

About the artist

Motoko Fukuyama

Motoko Fukuyama is an artist and filmmaker from Japan. She earned her BFA from Memphis College of Art, Memphis, Tennessee. She is a 2015 Rema Hort Mann Foundation Emerging Artist Grant and 2017 MacDowell Colony Fellowship recipient. Her work is driven by a fascination with the art of storytelling and personal narrative. In making movies, she questions how place can shape the lived experiences and interior lives of her subjects. She creates an open and sympathetic space for exploring the socioeconomic realities and psychology of everyday life. She is interested in how events and environments shape people’s lives and how, in turn, people shape their own lives through self-narrative. Her approach is quasi-documentary, using real life stories and adapting them into more fantastical cinematic and sculptural scenarios. It is an inherently collaborative approach, one that forefronts both the subjects themselves, and the conditions surrounding her filming of their interactions and conversations. She lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

artist website


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