Absent Racetrack (2002)

Tadashi Kawamata negotiated with the horse master to name a two-year-old male horse "Demeter".
"Demeter" actually exists and will run various races during the exhibition as well as after.
Since horse races are held in other racetracks, "Demeter" will be from Oihiro racetrack during the exhibition. Instead the wooden "Demeter" runs through here to symbolize that absence.

Born in Hokkaido in 1953
Lives in Tokyo

Kawamata creates unique installations, which intrude into city spaces (and other places), drastically transforming and dissimilating the sites. His radically powerful works have been internationally acclaimed. He has been exploring large-scale art projects around the world, focusing on universal themes such as "city and people" and "history and the present."

2001 "Lodging Tokyo" (Tokyo, Japan)
2000 "Lodging London" (London, UK)
2000 "Work in Progress: Project in Toyota City 2000" (Toyota, Japan)

Tadashi Kawamata arrived in Obihiro Airport at noon on December 11. Takahisa Araki, a videographer who had been recording documentation of Kawamata's art projects, arrived on an earlier flight, welcomed Kawamata at the airport, and recorded his arrival. We rushed to Obihiro racetrack, the exhibition site for Demeter, where Banei horseracing is held in winter. Kawamata, who had came to visit the racehorse track in summer when no one was there, wanted to visit Obihiro during the race period. Diners, public baths, convenience stores, and other businesses surrounding the track had appeared over night like magic. Coming from the race stand into the stable area, we saw countless horses. Trainers were leading the horses, which were excited before the race. In the stable, which had been empty in the summer, we saw many horses and their trainers grooming them. Even a dog was doing his job by barking at us, the intruding strangers. Kawamata took videos of horse after horse stationed outside of their stables. When we stopped, there was a horse being re-shoed by a specialized blacksmith. As we were watching the horse lift it's tail, it farted. Everyone laughed.
Kawamata's evening lectures gathered more young people than ever before. All the citizens were very intrigued by him. He said, 'I will give you the details at the workshops,' already involving the whole audience in the project. He further excited them by saying that 'most interesting will be the time of work right before the exhibition.' Before leaving, he asked a student from an agricultural university, who was doing volunteer work, 'do any of you plan to become a jockey?' Kawamata has interesting plans for all of us!