Talk Archives

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.


Megumi Matsubara’s current solo exhibition at Voice Gallery “WALK STRAIGHT”
is now extended through the end of October.

Friday 3 October h. 19:00
Artist talk at Voice Gallery




Megumi Matsubara works individually as an artist and collectively as an architect through Assistant, an international & interdisciplinary design practice that she co-founded with Hiroi Ariyama in 2002. Based on an architectural approach and inspired by urban environments, she composes spatial narratives combining the use of diverse media such as installation, sound, photography and texts. Through constantly rearranging the existing environments, her works challenge the balance between presence/absence.

Megumi Matsubara lives and works in Japan and Morocco.
In the beginning of 2012 Megumi Matsubara came to Morocco for the first time. Since then, the artist has shown eclectic artistic practices within the country.
Her first work in Morocco; Void/Between, was a site-specific installation for the main opera hall of Theatre Royale, for Marrakech Biennale 4. In Summer 2012, Rêveurs Rêve Rêves, inspired by her encounter with the blind children in Marrakech, was shown as the myriad architectural interventions at La Maison de La Photographie de Marrakech that included light installations, postcards, and an imagery work entitled A proposal for a textbook to learn Braille, English, and other languages, developed from the conversations and workshops with the children.
Continuing her subject of blindness and dreams, she presented Une Chambre Rouge; a work dedicated to Fès Medina, during the 6th edition of Rencontres Internationales de la Photo de Fès in December 2012. In Spring 2014, her solo exhibition The Blind Dream took place at Douiria Mouassine; a 400-year old historic architecture in Marrakech, on the occasion of Marrakech Biennale 5.

Currently, Megumi Matsubara is based between Fès and Tokyo. Her most recent work includes an ongoing series of books from her own publishing house Published by Anamnesis, established in Fès in 2014. Shaped around her words and images at its point of departure, the project engages eloquent individuals; writers, editors, translators, designers, printers, from East and West, South and North. Following the first book “The Tale of the Japanese and the Mosquito” presented in Spring 2014, “The Tale of the Japanese and the Garden” will be presented this Autumn.
During the evening at Voice Gallery, Megumi Matsubara will talk about this current book project, and will introduce the trajectory that led her to conceive the project. The talk will encompass the artist’s personal narratives behind her previously developed works; the invisible quality that is consistently embedded in her work.

Reading & Talk at YCAM Korogaru Pavilion

Celebrating the return of YCAM’s Korogaru Pavilion: media park for children designed by Assistant (Megumi Matsubara & Hiroi Ariyama) with YCAM educational team in 2013, Megumi Matsubara reads her book “The Tale of the Japanese and the Mosquito” within the pavilion. The reading is followed by an artist talk moderated by Tsubasa Nishi (Assistant curator, YCAM).



The Tale of the Japanese and the Garden at Festival des musiques sacrées


à la 20ème édition du Festival des musiques sacrées de Fès

The Tale of the Japanese and the Garden

/ Performance by Megumi Matsubara & Lecture by Yuko Hasegawa at Jnan Sbil Garden

Japanese artist Megumi Matsubara will give a reading of her upcoming book The Tale of the Japanese and the Garden: second volume to be published from a series of 8 stories written by the artist. The first volume The Tale of the Japanese and the Mosquito was published in March 2014. Following the performance, leading Japanese curator and art critic Yuko Hasegawa (chief curator, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo) will talk about Art and Public Space especially in the field of sound art that bridges local music traditions with contemporary practices, introducing examples from the 11th Sharjah Biennale in UAE in 2013 where she served as a curator. The event will include a conversation exchange with all.




Exhibition – Book signing – Reading with music by Megumi Matsubara (language: Japanese/English) at Librairie des Colonnes bookstore

Exposition – Signature – Lecture poétique sonorisée par Megumi Matsubara (langue: japonais/anglais) à Librairie des Colonnes


Megumi Matsubara reads her work The Tale of the Japanese and the Mosquito. The reading will be followed by a presentation of her other titles including A proposal for a textbook to learn Braille, English, and other languages. She will introduce the details and structures behind those titles, exhibiting her related works in the store of Librairie des Colonnes.

Hosted by: Simon-Pierre Hamelin (director, Librairie des Colonnes)




Sound/Art – Tuning in to Africa

Morocco-based Megumi Matsubara and Angolan-born Nástio Mosquito, two artists who constantly defy stereotypes, will delve into the essence of what culture is, and what it means to meet someone else. The fleeting, illusory sounds and lights that they have conjured will turn the first floor of the YCC into a space where encounters both simple and complex will unfold.

TICAD V, the fifth international conference will be held between 1st-3rd of June 2013 in Yokohama, Japan. It is expected to draw a big general interest on Africa. In May 2013, Yokohama Arts Foundation organizes a related pre-event, “Sound/Art – Tuning in to Africa” aiming to approach mutual understanding through the power of contemporary art and music, with exhibition, talk events and live performances.

Period: 14 (tue) – 20 (mon) May, 2013
Location: Yokohama Creative city Center (YCC) 1F Hall
Organized by: Yokohama Arts Foundation
Supported by: Culture and Tourism bureau of Yokohama city / Embassy of Angola / Embassy of Kenya /Embassy of the Republic of Mali / The Africa Society of Japan
For entire program & further information:

> about the work Megumi Matsubara & Nástio Mosquito



Yokohama International Conference on Contemporary African Arts

The House of African Art is hosting a conference bringing together professionals connected with Contemporary African Arts both from Japan and abroad.

Keynote speech 13:00-13:30
Yukiya Kawaguchi (Rikkyo University)
“What is the current situation of contemporary African art?”

Dance film screening 
Extracts of the dance piece “Fagaala” by Germaine Acogny/Kota Yamazaki
Comments by Kota Yamazaki, Choreographer

Part 1. Artistic Practice in Japan and Africa: The Ties Bind 
Moderator : Missla Libsekal, Another Africa
– Megumi Matsubara, Artist
– Noboru Tsubaki, Artist
– Nástio Mosquito, Artist
– Aboubakar Fofana, Artist
– Serge Mouangue, Artist

Break 16:00-16:15

Part 2. The Curation of Contemporary African Art in Japan 16:15-18:00
Moderator : Toshio Shimizu , Gakushuin University
– Dominique Malaquais, Centre d’Etudes des Mondes Africains, CNRS
– Ousseynou Wade, Dak’Art Biennale
– Simon Njami, Revue Noire
– Prune Helfter-Noah, House of African Art
Followed by a discussion with the panelists.

Reception 18:30-20:00

For further information: