Aki Kuroda by Marquerite Duras - The Darkness of Aki Kuroda

The Darkness of Aki Kuroda by Marguerite Duras, 1980

There are fourteen paintings in Aki Kuroda's exhibition. In appearance, they look alike. This resemblance remains external, it only allows the regrouping of the work done during three years. The canvases are not alike. I didn't see Aki Kuroda painting the night black. I saw that he painted such and such a night, such another and such another, the general night not existing. The fourteen canvases are named by Aki Kuroda: Darkness. This plural is the exhibition. It expresses the fact of exposure.

Aki Kuroda first acts as if he was painting. He actually paints. He covers the whole canvas with white paint, he paints it in all its surface in white. Then he has to wait for the canvas to dry. Days, maybe weeks, I'm not sure. Then Aki Kuroda starts again. He pretends to paint. He paints. He covers the white canvas with black paint. It is by going back to Aki Kuroda's work that I see the thickness of time that he has to amass on the surface of the canvas to then approach it with what will become the disfiguration of black secularly called the painting. Everyone, it seems to me, should see it as well as me. So, with black, it covers the white. There, at this stage, already, as for me, the fear begins because the black will remain forever on the white. And because on some of the canvases, especially the most recent ones, we can no longer say that the black surface is only covering the white surface.

Something else happens, is seen, yes, already, barely visible irregularities, movements, accidents that occur, arise and then repeat themselves regularly. You may remember those footprints of a prehistoric man's bare feet buried in clay thirty thousand years thick, the footsteps of someone who was passing, who slipped, who fell, who got up and then left the path of clay where his footsteps were written and which then never appears again, buried in a clay thirty thousand years thick, the footsteps of someone who was passing, who slipped, who fell, who got up and then left the clay path where his steps were written and who then never appears again.

At the end the beams of the accidents of the black thickness produce a direction. The canvas takes a direction. She will always keep it. This is wonderful. Yes, the quiverings of the painting hand, the right hand here I believe, produce a sort of general direction of the canvas, a course, like that, precisely, of the wind. What will cover the canvas at the end of the course will also be caught in this wind. Since the beginning of the world the wind has never passed like this over sand or anything else, never. It was never the same wind, the same sand, never. Here, today, what passes in front of us is the hand of Aki Kuroda, it is the wind which arrives on the cool black, still liquid and bends it as it would bend the sand under it or the surface of the sea... /…

Between the blacks and the destruction of their expanse there is an intermediate stage which bears on the grid of the blacks, their division into balanced fractions, into notebook lines or showers perfectly perpendicular to the bottom of the canvas. But I see there an additional outburst of the sacrificial stage, even more unbelief, intoxication, even more time in the thickness of the canvas, even more ceremonial, but of no cult, of none, this for always arriving at that moment when the entire fortune of time and life accumulated in the web will be played out.

As Aki Kuroda was patient, as he was slow, so he will become like lightning, lightning, to himself his own danger. It is especially that Kuroda, the part which is played there. Aki Kuroda builds the territory of his own slaughter with the same care as that of his happiness. This is where we are with him. Silence is thus made by Kuroda on the intelligence of the painting itself. He says that there is there to understand but without ever knowing what, that there is there to say but without ever knowing how. The attempt I'm making right now, I also see as part of the silence established by Kuroda.

Kuroda is ahead of the silence. It does not illuminate what cannot be illuminated, what does not take the light, what cannot retain it, for example between millions of propositions; that of thought, that of light, that of painting.

The Darkness of Aki Kuroda by Marguerite Duras, 1980