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六郎meets ローラ

今年の2月、横浜そごう美術館で開催された谷内六郎の展覧会を観にいく機会があった。実のところ、特に谷内六郎の絵が好きだったわけではない。ローラ・ニーロの1977年のアルバム「光の季節in concert」のジャケットおよびインナースリーブに谷内六郎の絵が使用されているから、もしかしてその原画が見られるかもしれない、というくらいの軽い気持ちだった。

今回の展覧会は谷内六郎没後50年と、彼の絵を長きにわたって表紙に起用していた「週刊新潮」の創刊50周年の節目に当たるもので、大量の表紙絵をじっくり鑑賞しているうちに、すっかり谷内六郎の世界に惹き込まれてしまう。果たしてローラがインナーに起用した「つくつく法師の記憶」という作品もあった。

ちょうど橋本治の評論にあるように、週刊新潮の表紙で毎週谷内六郎の作品を見ていたわれわれは、もしかして六郎の絵をよく知っているもの、下手をすれば陳腐なものをさえ思って見過ごしてはいなかっただろうか。私自身、ちゃんと六郎の絵を見てはいなかった。だから浮かんでくるイメージは絣の着物の子供が出てくるような昔の日本の、それも田園や海のどちらかといえば田舎風の風景で、ニューヨークという都会に暮らす大人の女の歌と、どうやって共通点を見出したらいいのかわからないものだ。
ローラはどうやって谷内六郎の絵を知ったのだろうか。
そしてローラはなぜ自分の作品に六郎の絵を使ったのだろうか。
常々感じていた疑問だが、あるいは自ら六郎の絵を使いたいと強く主張したというローラの眼に対しても少々疑いを抱いていたかもしれない。なんで谷内六郎なの?というように。

ところが今回の展覧会を観て、じっくりと六郎作品に触れるうちに、その世界がローラの世界と不思議に響きあっているのを認識した。たとえば海岸にうちよせる波の形に白いピアノの鍵盤を見てとり、冬の木枯らしの風景では風の音を奏でるヴァイオリンが浮かんでいたりする。それは橋本治の言葉を借りれば、「音が光になる世界」だ。これぞローラの光の季節にふさわしい。
そしてローラはといえば普段からレコーディング時にバックミュージシャンに、「そこはもっと赤く、青く」などと色で指示をしていたという感性の持ち主。いわば、「光が音になる世界」である。
さらにハッとさせられたのは週刊新潮の電車中吊り広告の展示。ちょうど中吊りの完成品と、文字の入る前の原画とが並べて掲げられていたのだが、この見せ方が秀逸で、六郎の絵の本質、ひいてはローラの作品との共通する性質を私に気づかせてくれた。
週刊誌の中吊りと言えば、暗い世相、黒い事件簿、金と欲と怨嗟と・・・いやになるくらい現実そのものの言葉がこれでもかと並んでいるレイアウト。ところが一見何の関係もなさそうな、六郎の「おさなごころ」の世界はこれらの見出しを載せても、汚されて負けもしなければ、現実から離れて知らん顔をきめているわけでもない。互いに受け止めあっているのだ。そしてローラの歌もまさにそうではないか。残酷で無常な現実の世界と、甘く優雅な幻想やイノセンスが違和感なく同居している。
「光の季節」のジャケットの絵が生まれた経緯を私は知らない。でも、この絵を見ると、Emmieのフレーズが浮かぶ。
Emily /and her love to be /curved in a heart /on a berry tree
Emily you ornament the earth for me
そう、私の心の中では“Emily”は“Laura”だ。この絵のように。
谷内六郎はローラの音楽を聴いたのだろうか?

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●「つくつく法師の記憶」が収録されている文庫→谷内六郎展覧会 (夏)

*この記事は4月8日に行ったイベント"For the Love of Laura Nyro"で配った小冊子に掲載した文章です。
書いた日を忘れたので、展覧会の会期に合わせた日付にしました。

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