Talk Archives

Reading & Talk | Alley Cat Books | San Francisco

Un Coquelicot: reading & talk by Megumi Matsubara

Megumi Matsubara reads from her book The Tale of the Japanese and the Mosquito, followed by a talk about her perennial subject: red poppy. The space will be scented with the fragrance of the red poppy field that a prominent Moroccan botanist/aromatherapist produced with Matsubara’s tale as inspiration. 

Megumi Matsubara is a Japanese artist who lives and works between Morocco and Japan. She is a guest artist in the city of San Francisco as part of the exhibition ‘SLOW DIALOGUES: Time, Space, and Scale’ guest curated by Slow Research Lab. Her site-specific installation It Is a Garden (2016) is on view at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts from April 22 – July 10, 2016.

Time: 2PM – 3PM
Place: Alley Cat Books and Gallery
Contact: +1 (415) 824-1761

*About the exhibition:
‘SLOW DIALOGUES: Time, Space, and Scale’
Upstairs Galleries at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA)
Guest curated by Slow Research Lab

Alley Cat Books



Megumi Matsubara “Un Coquelicot” from slowLab on Vimeo.

NOT NEW NOW: Marrakech Biennale

Megumi Matsubara participates in Not New Now, the 6th edition of the Marrakech Biennale, taking place on February 24 to May 8, 2016 in Marrakech, Morocco.

Curated by Reem Fadda
Assistant curator Ilaria Conti

Exhibition period: 24 February – 8 May, 2016
Press preview: 23 February
Opening week: 24–28 February

Main venues: Palais Bahia, Palais El Badii

Participating artists: Talal Afifi, Haig Aivazian, El Anatsui, Tarek Atoui, Kader Attia, Dana Awartani, Yto Barrada, Isak Berbic, Dineo Seshee Bopape, Farid Belkahia, Ahmed Bouanani, Touda Bouanani, Mohamed Chebaa, Manthia Diawara, Melvin Edwards, Ali Essafi, Khalil El Ghrib, Sam Gilliam, David Hammons, Mohssin Harraki, Mona Hatoum, Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti, Saba Innab, Bouchra Khalili, Radhika Khimji, Rachid Koraichi, Al Loving, Khaled Malas, Djibril Diop Mambety, Jumana Manna, Ahmed Mater, Megumi Matsubara, Mohammed Melehi, Naeem Mohaiemen, Mohamed Mourabiti, Radouan Mriziga, Oscar Murillo, Sara Ouhaddou, Khalil Rabah, SUPERFLEX, Rayyane Tabet, The Otolith Group, Eric Van Hove, Adrián Villar Rojas, Fatiha Zemmouri

Group Show | Carrefour / Treffpunkt | Berlin

Megumi Matsubara, "Undress" 2015, installation view, ifa Stuttgart (24)

Megumi Matsubara’s work Undress on view in Berlin, having travelled from Stuttgart:

Carrefour / Treffpunkt / Meeting Point
July 17–October 4, 2015

ifa Gallery Berlin, ifa (Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations)
Linienstrasse 139/140
10115 Berlin

Tuesday–Sunday 14–18h
Admission free

Exhibition information:

About Undress:

Reading & Talk | Undress | Berlin

Megumi Matsubara, "Undress" 2015, installation view, ifa Stuttgart (15)

Performative talk with Megumi Matsubara
July 17, 17h

Megumi Matsubara read her poetry Undress followed by an artist talk and conversation on her work Undress: installation created as an olfactory experience of the absent fragrance La Japonaise.

a performance by Megumi Matsubara at the exhibition
“Carrefour / Meeting Point”
The Marrakech Biennale and beyond

17th July 2015, ifa-Gallery Berlin…

Megumi Matsubara reads her poem and talks about her new work “Undress”: a space designed to create a fragrance “La Japonaise” composed of eight different scents separately floating in the exhibition space.
The installation was first shown at ifa-Gallery Stuttgart before ifa-Gallery Berlin.

“Undress is a state of nudity characterized by not the eyes of the other, but oneself. How far can we undress: you and me, me and myself?” (Megumi Matsubara)

Reading & Talk   Megumi Matsubara
Music   Clovis Lemée
Film   Ilja Gorbunov

„Undress“ (Ausziehen)
Eine Performance von Megumi Matsubara in der Ausstellung
„Carrefour / Treffpunkt“
Die Marrakech Biennale und darüber hinaus

17. Juli 2015, ifa-Galerie Berlin…

Megumi Matsubara liest ihr Gedicht „Undress“ (Ausziehen) und spricht über ihre letzte, gleichnamige Arbeit: Ein Raum, in dem das von ihr geschaffene Parfum „La Japonaise“ aus acht verschiedenen Düften entsteht, die unabhängig voneinander durch den Ausstellungsraum schweben.
Die Installation wurde erstmalig in der ifa-Galerie Stuttgart gezeigt, anschließend in der ifa-Galerie Berlin.

„Ausziehen ist ein Grad an Nacktheit, der nicht durch die Augen der Anderen, sondern durch jeden selbst charakterisiert wird. Wie weit können wir uns entblößen: Du und ich, ich und ich selbst?“ (Megumi Matsubara)

Lesung und Gespräch   Megumi Matsubara
Musik   Clovis Lemée
Film   Ilja Gorbunov

Carrefour / Treffpunkt / Meeting Point
July 17–October 4, 2015

ifa Gallery Berlin, ifa (Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations)
Linienstrasse 139/140
10115 Berlin

Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 14–18h
Admission free

Participating artists: Saâdane Afif, Leila Alaoui, Yassine Balbzioui, Max Boufathal, Megumi Matsubara, Clara Meister and S.T.I.F.F.

Curator: Alya Sebti


Group Show | Carrefour / Treffpunkt | Stuttgart

Megumi Matsubara presents a new project for this occasion, and will be attending at the opening and artist talk:

Group show at ifa Gallery Stuttgart, Germany

Works by Saâdane Afif, Leila Alaoui, Yassine Balbzioui, Max Boufathal, Megumi Matsubara, Clara Meister
Curated by Alya Sebti
Organized and produced by ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen)

Artists’ and curator’s talk & preview:
6 May 2015, 16.30–18.00

7 May 2015, 19.00–


“Où sommes-nous maintenant? Where are we now? Wo stehen wir heute?” was the title of and question raised by the 5th Marrakech Biennale, whose artistic director, Alya Sebti, also devised the exhibition “Carrefour / Meeting Point” for the ifa Galleries Stuttgart and Berlin.

The title of the ifa exhibition sees Marrakech and the bienniale as a metaphorical centre where different paths cross. Marrakech and the biennale were and still are the interface and meeting point between Sub-Saharan Africa and the Maghreb. They form a link to Europe, a turntable between north and south and east and west.

Works from the Marrakech Biennale 2014 and projects that were newly developed for “Carrefour / Meeting Point” look at the permeability between public spaces and private realms. The artists Saâdane Afif, Leila Alaoui, Yassine Balbzioui, Max Boufathal, and Clara Meister explore possible ways addressing our vulnerability and our position in the world – in the form of sculptures, installations, sound and video works. Megumi Matsubara developed a new form of exhibition, having a special perfume created for “Carrefour / Meeting Point” by a Moroccan perfumer. In and with these works, the artists create a further new space for encounter, exchange and collaboration.

With the “Spot on …” series, in recent years the ifa Galleries in Stuttgart and Berlin have presented international biennials supported by ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen). The aim was to present lesser-known biennials in Germany and also to raise awareness of these international ifa activities.

Saâdane Afif, Leila Alaoui, Megumi Matsubara and Clara Meister present their works; curator Alya Sebti explains the exhibition concept. There will be an opportunity to enjoy an aperitif and talk with the artists and curator. In englischer Sprache / In English

Performance | The Aesthetics of Duality

Peace & Power, 2013, Megumi Matsubara

Féminin Pluriel Morocco #20
The Aesthetics of Duality

Megumi Matsubara sets up a one-night installation at Dar Bellarj, and reads “The Tale of the Japanese and the Garden” followed by a conversation with Abdelghani Fennane
Music by Clovis Lemée based on Megumi Matsubara’s music score “I imagine it is beautiful”


When you write, are you a writer or a reader?
When you read, are you a reader or a listener?
And which one holds our imagination—or neither?

Japanese artist Megumi Matsubara and Moroccan poet Abdelghani Fennani will both read their texts with Arabic subtitles, and open a dialog about the aesthetics of duality. Exchanging their understandings of multilingualism, exophony, gender, and translation, the two will explore the space of resonance—
(Language: English, French)

Joint Lecture | Blindness and Dreams

Blindness and Dreams / Joint Lecture : Megumi Matsubara & Kenneth Brown


What do you see when you close your eyes? How far can your eyes see? And what about when you dream?
The American Language Center & Arabic Language Institute in Fez is pleased to organize a joint presentation by artist Megumi Matsubara and scholar Kenneth Brown, who will speak about their understanding of blindness and dreams. Sharing the itineraries of their practice and research in Morocco and within Islamic cultures, they will consider the relation between memory and internal vision. Drawing upon poetry, imagery and history, they will also touch upon the worlds of Taha Husayn, Najib Mahfouz, Jorge Luis Borges, Junichiro Tanizaki or Henry Corbin within such themes.

Date: Saturday, 28 Feb, 2015
Time: 4:30 — 6:30 PM

Place: Auditorium of the American Language Center Annex
Address: 22 Rue Mohamed Diouri, Fes Ville Nouvelle, Morocco

Admission: Free
Language: English (with a summary in Arabic as needed)


MEGUMI MATSUBARA is a Japanese artist whose practice spans from static architecture to ephemeral situations, including installation, sound, photography and text. She reconfigures existing environments and composes spatial narratives to question the balance between presence and absence. Matsubara, originally from Tokyo, studied in Tokyo and London, and has lived and worked between Fès and Tokyo since 2012. In 2015, she opened a year-long solo exhibition in Fès held in multiple places throughout the year.

While she was a student at the University of Tokyo, Matsubara co-established the interdisciplinary architecture firm Assistant with architect Hiroi Ariyama, of which she has been director and founding member since 2002. She is a grant recipient of Agency for Cultural Affairs Japan (2013-2014), Pola Art Foundation (2012-2013), Japan Foundation (2009), Nomura Foundation (2008), among others, for her practices abroad, and two-year winner of the Exploratory IT Human Resources Project Grant: MITOH Program (2002-2004) for her socio-psychological project. Her work in Morocco includes four solo shows in Marrakech and Fès: THE BLIND DREAM (Douiria Mouassine, 2014), WALK STRAIGHT (Voice Gallery, 2014), RÊVEURS RÊVE RÊVES (La Maision de La Photographie de Marrakech, 2012), UNE CHAMBRE ROUGE (Musée Batha, 6th Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie de Fès, 2012), as well as VOID/BETWEEN (Theatre Royale, Marrakech Biennale 4, 2012).


KENNETH BROWN, originally from Los Angeles, lives in Marseille. He has been director and founding editor of the biannual review Mediterraneans/Méditerranéennes since 1991. Formerly professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Manchester (U.K.), Fellow of the Committee for the Comparative Study of New Nations, and Research Associate in the Middle East Center and the Department of History, University of Chicago, visiting professor in Paris at the C.N.R.S and E.H.E.S.S., at the Universities of California, Berkeley, Utah, and Arizona, as well as Fulbright Professor at the University of Dakar, Senegal. He studied at the University of Chicago and completed his Ph.D. in Islamic Studies at U.C.L.A in 1969.

He has carried out extensive research in the Maghreb—in the city of Salé and in the Berber-speaking area of the Souss in Morocco, and in the town of Ksibet El Mediouni in Tunisia, as well as in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. He is the author of over fifty articles and several books, including “People of Salé: The Social History of a Moroccan City (1830-1930),” Harvard University Press (Cambridge, Mass. 1976; French version, “Les Gens de Salé,” EDDIF, Casablanca 2001), “Journey Through a Labyrinthe: Israel-Palestine,” a photographic essay with Jean Mohr (U. of Penn Press, 1981) and the SHUR Report for the E.U. on human rights in Israel and the OPT (Paris 2008). His latest book, as editor, is “L’Iraq de la crise au chaos: Chroniques d’une invasion,” IBIS (Paris 2004).


*For more information, media inquiries, please contact (in English, Arabic, or French)
Coordinator: +212 6 59 66 15 02,




Lecture | Wind and Lightness

Wind and Lightness
Lecture by Megumi Matsubara

18:00-19:00 (40min lecture + 20min Q&A)
Thu 5 Feb 2015
Cinema Room, ESAV Marrakech

How do you know there is wind? Do you see it, or do you feel it? And if the wind is small?
Megumi Matsubara will speak about relationships between image and space, and how they create memory. She will present films and photographs to introduce her works in public space as well as her current interdisciplinary theater project, and open the discussion with public.