The B of Blue

A car crash is happening nearby. Wreckage unfurling in slow motion, with a pocket calculator and folded rug caught in the drama. People rush to establish facts as others imagine. A bystander checks their watch in disbelief, trapped by the rolling moment.


I wake at 05:20 to the thought of having crashed a car, running through lights and the blue Go of emerald green. But as I rouse myself the thought is replaced by the image of a strip of land and motorway just north of Osaka, home to the first World’s Fair in Japan, EXPO’70.

Exhibitions like Knowledge and Beliefs of the World (2018) encouraged the outsider to wander in. But the Expo was different. It waded through the site with a language of its own, bulldozing the eyeline with spectral interventions and a film documenting the event that played without sound. But in some distant part of me that film seemed louder prompting thoughts to wander off in other directions.

The film had been left in the sun and run over several times. Its state made as much sense as the calculator and empty coffee can Yasuko (Toyoshima) of Knowledge … (2018) had left strewn across the floor; a roadkill of violence and humor. Waking up, the mental mess left by the wreckage had drifted through sleep to picture a Jacob’s ladder and an unwanted watch collectively as well as the unconnected image of Warhol’s Orange Car Crash Fourteen Times (1963) all bending thoughts of Osaka and that exhibition out of shape.

In the months that followed, Osaka was named the host of another World Fair in 2025 presenting it in much the same way as the Tokyo Olympics of 2020. As with that event, the new World fair would become the responsibility of every single tax payer whether they liked it or not. Another tangled mess set to the rhythm of vehicles colliding.