I wonder how people’s occupations and titles are decided. If someone joins a company or organisation, for example, these are probably assigned as a matter of course.

What if a man goes up against the world all on his own, with no one or nothing offering any guarantees? If he names something himself, does that thing become established as named? What if someone else gives a name to that man’s activities or actions…?

One day, in the corner of a flea market in a town in Tokyo, Ryota Aoyagi was staging a conceptual installation, and was called to by a woman. “You’re an artist, right?” said the woman, who turned out to be none other than famous French contemporary artist Sophie Calle.

In a mere moment, Calle had seen through Aoyagi’s installation – an experiment in selection and value that featuring objects he had chosen and arranged based on their particular aesthetics. She called the man behind the work an “artist”, even though at a glance he should have seemed like nothing other than a market stall owner.

Following this, last November Aoyagi was invited by Calle and contemporary artist Hiroshi Sugimoto to participate in the three-way collaboration titled UNSOLD.