This edition of 4 audio CDs in a wooden case comprises the reading of On Kawara's One Million Years [Past and Future], with Gemma Saunders as the female voice reading all even numbers and Leo Chadburn as the male voice reading all odd numbers, covering 969 611 BC to 967 811 BC & 33 411 AD to 34 450 AD.
One Million Years is originally a 20-volume collection, each volume contains 200 pages and each page holds 500 typed years. Created in 1969, One Million Years [Past] contains the years 998,031 B.C. through 1969 A.D., and One Million Years [Future], created in 1981, contains the years 1981 A.D. to 1,001,980 A.D. The first audio presentation of the reading of One Million Years occurred in 1993 during Kawara's year-long solo exhibition “One Thousand Days One Million Years” at the Dia Center for the Arts in New York. Since then, readings and recordings have taken place in cities around the world, including a 100 day reading in Kassel—for the exact duration of Documenta 11 (2002), or again in Trafalgar Square, London, for a continuous outdoor reading lasting 7 days and 7 nights (2004).
In 1999, the Dia Center for the Arts produced the first One Million Years [Future] CD (blue). In 2000, the Musee d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris produced the first [Past] CD (gold). The following productions, [Past and Future], were : David Zwirner Gallery , New York, No. 2-6 ; Konrad Fischer Galerie/NRW-Forum , Düsseldorf, No. 7-8 (2002) ; Documenta 11 , Kassel, No. 9-24 (2002) ; Akira Ikeda Gallery , Berlin, No. 25-36 (2002) ; South London Gallery , No. 37-38 (2004) ; Akira Ikeda Gallery-Taura , New York, No. 39-50 (2005) ; Martine Aboucaya , Paris, No. 51-62 (2008) ; Lasalle College of the Arts/Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore , No. 63-66 (2005) ; Museo de Arte Contemporánea de Vigo/Centro José Guerrero de Granada , Spain, No. 67-68 (2007).
2,700 CDs would be needed to complete the readings of One Million Years [Past] and One Million Years [Future], and if 27 CDs were to be produced each year, the complete recording of One Million Years would take 100 years to complete.
Limited edition of 250 numbered copies.
On Kawara (1932-2014) is arguably one of the most influential contemporary artist. Born in Japan, Kawara's first exhibitions include the first Nippon Exhibition, at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, in 1953, and at the Takemiya and Hibiya galleries the following year. The art of this forerunner conceptual artist
was first exhibited in New York—where he has lived since 1965—at Dwan Gallery in 1967, and his one-person exhibition “One Million Years” was shown in Düsseldorf, Paris, and Milan in 1971. Kawara's work was included in Kassel's Documentas 5 (1972), 7 (1982), and 11 (2002), in the Tokyo Biennale (1970), the Kyoto Biennale (1976), and the Venice Biennale (1976).
His work has been included in many conceptual art surveys from the seminal “Information show” at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (1970), to “Reconsidering the Object of Art: 1965-1975” at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1995).
Personal exhibitions of his work have included the Centre Pompidou, Paris (1977); the Moderna Museet, Stockholm (1980); Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam (1991); the Dia Center for the Arts, New York (1993); the South London Gallery (2004); and the Dallas Museum of Art (2008).