MES are a Tokyo-based artist duo formed by Kanae Tanikawa and Takeru Arai in 2015. Their work occupies the peripheries of contemporary art and club culture, with a deep interest in development, gentrification and migration.
Their time in London was spent observing the city, looking at the spaces and movements that have defined the relationships between dance, politics and people – from Brixton’s Electric Avenue to the Criminal Justice Act of 1994.
During their residency MES visited Liverpool Biennale, hosted a workshop at the house and also created laser visuals for a radio programme. The residency ended with a series of traces left in the building, from heat generating charcoal, to videos exploring ice and body heat in the building.
MES invited participants to explore the Van Gogh House through the lens of temperature. We played a version of ‘hide and seek’ around the house, using a thermal camera to search for hidden piles of heated charcoal, before moving to the garden to make drawings with Ice.
MES often use lasers to draw and make images for their installations and VJ sets. In the second half of the workshop, they projected these lasered images onto their bare skin. Through the thermal camera we were able to observe how the lasers transferred heat to skin.
On the 19th June, MES collaborated with producer/artist duo Enharmonics on a radio show at local station Brixton Radio. Brixton Radio is a community radio station based in the heart of South London as a hub for artists, musicians and creatives to give freedom to express themselves, share ideas and promote their work.
Enharmonics’ set can be listened to here ⟶
MES left hidden piles of activated charcoal and a new video work in the house, for people to encounter on June’s guided tours.
This residency was supported by the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation. The artists also collaborated with Brixton Radio and Enharmonics.