Closed day

作家不明 ≪腕木通信機≫1840年代

Quest for Vision vol.5

Spelling Dystopia

Dec. 11, 2012Jan. 27, 2013

  • Dec. 11, 2012Jan. 27, 2013
  • Closed Closed Day:Monday(if Monday is a national holiday or a substitute holiday, it is the next day), from Dec 29 to Jan 1
  • Admission:Adults ¥500/College Students ¥400/High School and Junior High School Students,Over 65 ¥250

Each year since 2008, the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography has organized an exhibition around one of five basic concepts of moving images—Imagination, Animation, 3D Vision, Expansion and Reduction, and The Image as Record—as part of its series entitled "Quest for Vision." In this, the fifth year, "The Image as Record" forms the theme around which we will trace, through the museum's collections, the history of the medium of moving images and consider its role as it stands today.

It could be said that the history of film in general began with a documentary film. The world's first ever live-action film called La Sortie de L'Usine Lumière à Lyon (Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory), released in 1895 and made by the Lumière brothers who were considered to be the fathers of cinematography, is a documentary-style film showing, as the title indicates, scenes of workers emerging from a factory. Now 100 years later, documentary films have established their own separate genre and we are now able to view documentaries not only in cinemas, but also on television and via Internet-based video distribution and social media systems, and even to make and distribute our own documentary films. It's been more than a century since moving images came to be and their role becomes ever more complex as the nature of everyday experiences is constantly changing.

So, what kinds of records are moving images able to make? What kinds of things are they able to convey? What kinds of things were they ever able to convey? These questions are used as the starting point of this exhibition in which we will examine the transition and the potential of documentary film from the past, in the present and for the future, referencing a few examples in which moving images and society are inextricably linked.

The exhibition will center on the museum's collections and approximately 60 items of photography, installations, video equipment and materials are planned for exhibition. We will consider the relationship between video images and society based on the key phrases "Communication - Messages," "Protest and Dialogue – Avant-garde and Documentary," and "Memory – Archives." In particular, we will present, for the first time in this country, Kenji Kanesaka's works of still and moving images, acquired by the museum in 2011, which played such a significant role in examining art, cinema and politics in 1960's Japan.

*Communication Messages
The medium is the message. These well-known words of Marshall McLuhan convey the idea that the technological format of the medium itself has an impact on the message, in other words the medium itself is the message. Here we will consider the history of "moving images" in its narrow sense from the viewpoint of "communication" and focus on the contact point between the technological environment and the messages conveyed in moving images. Using a magic lantern that is part of the museum's collection as a starting point, we will examine the way in which the magic lantern was accepted and circulated within Japan and its ties to social activism, in cooperation with Waseda University's Collaborative Research Center for Theatre and Film Arts Magic Lantern Research Project.

*Protest and Dialogue – Avant-garde and Documentary
Kenji Kanesaka introduced American underground cinema to a Japanese audience and held a special place as a photographer, filmmaker and critic, and from the 1960s through the '70s and '80s, as an activist in the world of photographic and cinematographic culture in Japan. In this segment we will examine the Japan of the 1960s and '70s, a time in which art and politics intersected, through a number of works from that period by Kenji Kanesaka himself, the documentary film director, Shinsuke Ogawa as well Rikuro Miyai et al. who, together with Kanesaka, led the avant-garde movement at the time.

*Memory - Archive
It is not possible is record everything through moving images but they may at least be a sufficient storage medium for us to recollect our reality. We consider the relationship between moving images and memory as it stands today, through the work of artists Nina Fischer and Maroan el Sani that explores the social and historical significance of places and spaces from the past using their "work in progress" archive and various other media on the subject.

Kenji Kanesaka
Photographer/filmmaker/critic. Born 1934 in Tokyo, died 1999. After graduating from Keio University's Department of English Literature, he worked both as a film critic and a maker of avant-garde films. He traveled to the United States during the 1960s and '70s, where he associated with some central figures of the cultural scene at the time, including Andy Warhol and Allen Ginsberg, and introduced underground films to a Japanese audience. He also presented a great many works as a photographer personally involved in street and subculture. His principal works on film are America, America, America; Hopscotch; and Moeyasui Mimi (The Easily Burning Ears).

Shinsuke Ogawa
Film director. Born 1936 in Tokyo, died 1992. He joined Iwanami Productions in 1960. In 1964, he became a freelance and in 1966 set up Ogawa Productions, making documentary films on such subjects as the 1960's student protests and the Sanrizuka conflict around the construction of Narita Airport. He moved to the city of Kaminoyama in Yamagata Prefecture and continued to make documentary films about rural areas. Some of his best-known films are Narita: Peasants of the Second Fortress and A Japanese Village: Furuyashikimura.

Rikuro Miyai
Filmmaker. Born 1940. In the 1960s, as well as becoming a member of the Eizo Geijutsu no Kai, he presided over Unit Pro and released a number of works on film as expanded cinema and environmental cinema, becoming a leader of the underground scene. He has also worked as producer of such things as the Andy Warhol exhibition. Since the mid-1970s, he has regularly travelled to India for religious studies.

Nina Fischer and Maroan El Zani
Nina Fischer (born 1965 in Emden, Germany) and Maroan el Sani (born 1966 in Duisburg, Germany) live and work in Berlin. Since the early 1990s, they have developed, through various media including film, photography and installations, projects exploring the theme of ruins and forgotten places and spaces and their social and historical significance. In Japan, they have been involved with a number of events including the Aura Research exhibition (Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, 1998), group exhibitions, film shoots and film screenings.

Talk series
Exhibiting artists and guests will discuss their work.

December 11, 2012 (Tuesday), 6.00-7.30pm
Nina Fischer, Maroan el Sani (exhibiting artists)

December 22, 2012 (Saturday), 3.00-4.30pm
Zero Jigen, Yoshihiro Kato (artists), KuroDalaiJee (historian of postwar Japanese avant-garde art)

January 19, 2013 (Saturday), 3.00-4.30pm
Rikuro Miyai (exhibiting artist), Takeshi Hirasawa (film researcher)

Venue: Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, first-floor studio
Capacity: 70 persons per session
Reception: Numbered admission tickets will be distributed on the day from 10am at the
first-floor reception of the museum.
No reserved seating. The studio will open 30 minutes before the start time.
Participation is limited to holders of tickets to the exhibition. Admission is free.
*Associated events are subject to change without notice.
See this website for the latest information.