Makiko Yamamoto (b. Japan), based in Melbourne, Australia, is an artist with a focus on the politics of the utterance as a social currency that is shared unevenly. Over the last 15 years, she has been developing a sonic and spatial practice, engaging
a theoretical approach to fundamental materials such as the voice, the body, gesture and language. Yamamoto’s process typically subjects language to critical pressure, questioning social codes and exposing the vulnerabilities of everyday communication. Yamamoto has been developing an episodic body of work examining words as texts, informed by tactics such as duration, auditory illusion and semantic satiation.
BANANA A-PART pushes into the gaps of human language to invoke, convey and meditate on plant-being. Through a process of deconstruction, the artist teases apart the layers of human thinking that construct the naturalness of common fruits and vegetables, reflecting on the extent to which human-vegetable understanding can be achieved through human-articulated thinking as it manifests through language.
BANANA A-PART disentangles signifier from sign, by breaking the human word-sound into smaller and smaller individual clumps, phoneme by phoneme, character by character, into ever-issuing phatic atoms. Cavendish bananas (Musa acuminata) are genetically identical to, and part of, their original plant, thus forming a collective organism larger than any other on earth. Yamamoto’s increasingly estranged echoes can be heard as an attempt to realise through sound this monoculturally clonal nature, and the possibility under which an individual is always already mass.
BANANA A-PART is a performance piece commissioned by Liquid Architecture for Why Listen to Plants, and has been performed in Henningsvaer (Norway), Berlin (Germany), and Melbourne (Australia).