Midori Mitamura

三田村光土里

Permanent Room パーマネント・ルーム


1999
Solo exhibition
Contemporary Art Factory / Tokyo

Solo Exhibition
Galerie Lichtblick / Cologne, Germany

2000
Exhibition
Voices from Japan / CBK / Leiden, Netherland

     

My parents' portraits look like fashion photos from a magazine.
They draw a fictional atmosphere that is different from their daily life.
In contrast with it, I re-created old photographs from our family albums into furniture - like art pieces.
Images of them were taken in the 1960s and 70s. They reflect the most active days of my parents and our family.  

On the floor, a round shaped mirror is turning slowly and calmly moved by an electric motor. It depicts the flow of time.
However, reflected image in the mirror never moves; therefore, people cannot notice the mirror is turning.
That is just like a time of our life that we are spending in every moment.

In another space of the exhibition, the floor is covered with many bed-mattresses.
On the wall, there are some snapshots of my father taken in the1960s-70s.
The music being played in the space is American brass march.
Visitors can enjoy jumping on the bed- mattresses freely.

In Japan, the 1960s-70s were the time of rapid economic growth in the post World War II.
People began enjoying Western styles that are mainly imported from the USA.
Japanese typical family-life looked like being colored by cheap imitations of Western culture, yet it actually is our happy memories in the 60s.


 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

      

 

 





 
I

 

パーマネント・ルーム

1999
現代美術製作所/ 東京


 生きている限り物事に永遠は無い。瞬間も無い。
一瞬一瞬はものすごいスピードで常に過去になって行く。
「今」と思った瞬間、それはすでに過去の記憶になり、絶えずたくさんの記憶を失い続けている。
そして、そうやって100年も経てば、今生きている私たち全ての記憶は消える。
残るのはいろいろな形の記録だけだ。
私たちが亡くなった後も、日々の合間合間に残した断片的な記録はつなぎ合わされ、時に不確かな事実としてそれぞれが生きてきたストーリーを連想させるのだろう。
しかしそれらのリアリティーは憶測と断定でしかない。
個々の人生の姿はそれぞれの記憶によってのみ構成されるからだ。

 記録の手段のひとつに写真がある。人は何故写真を撮るのだろうか。
写真が生まれたときから写真は芸術である前に、記録と記憶をとどめておくための道具として私たちの日常に存在し続けている。日常は変化し続け、常に何かを失い続けなければならない時の流れの中で、永遠など存在しないことを本能的に知っている私たちにとって、写真を撮ることは無情に流れる時間を一瞬止めて、失いたくない記憶をその中に封じ込めようとする作業なのかも知れない。

私たちが写真を目にするとき、写真に写り込んでいるのは、撮る側の記憶なのだということを私は非常に重要に感じる。つまりそこに写り込んでいる記録としての被写体そのものよりも、むしろ撮る側の意図や視点に惹きつけられるのだ。
私はしばしば家族の古い写真を作品に用いる。興味深いことに、年月を経た古い写真を私の作品として昇華させる作業は、アルバムの中の世界にカメラを向けて新たに写真を撮っているような感覚の行為である。
アルバムの中の世界は、私自身の意思がまったく介在していないことによって、私のインスピレーションは記憶に縛られること無く、無数の新しいイメージとスタイルがフィクションのように私の目の前にその存在を現す。それらに私自身が撮った写真覧 例えば日常の中の非日常的な違和感のある記録写真覧を混ぜ合わせ、音楽や様々な要素を組み合わることで、記憶、記録、撮る側の意図が複雑に交差する空間が生まれる。
そこには写真という二次元の記録とは違う、ドキュメントのようでもありフィクションのようでもあるような一つのムードが存在し始め、人が足を踏み入れることの出来る三次元のドラマとして、封印された過去のものたちに無限の可能性を持たせることが出来る。
そして写真の持つ過去の重みは剥がれ落ち、それらが記録なのかフィクションなのかは既に問題では無くなり、そこに写りこんでいる本質のみが提示されてくるように見えるのだ。

As long as we are alive, neither “permanence” nor “moment” can exist.
Every passing second flies into the past.
No sooner do we feel “just now”, that very moment has already passed, become history.
We continually lose memories throughout our lives.
On the other hand, our present life actually comprises memories.
Our memories let us realize how we are or how we feel now in relation to our past.
After one hundred years have passed, all of our actual memories will have vanished completely
from the face of the earth.
Only various, faded records will remain.
At that moment, people living in the future will assemble those fragments of records we shed
daily, and they will perchance concoct many images stories of our lives based on uncertain
realities.
Those records depend entirely upon the imagination, inferences and conclusions drawn by
future minds,
This means that the image of human life is constructed merely from personal memories,
One of the salient tools for making a record of something is photography,
Why do we want to take a picture?
From the early days of its origin, photography existed as a tool to leave “records” and “memories”
in our everyday life, before it became Art.
We are simply unable to refrain from changing and stop shedding masses of memories at every
moment,
Taking picture is definitely the most efficient action in order to log those memories we don’t want
to lose.
We know potentially that “permanence” doesn’t exist anywhere on earth.
It could allow us to try to freeze a merciless stream of time only for an instant.
Instead, when we re-encounter a photo after long hiatus, we often find something new or
different from before in that image, although nothing changed in the recorded fact.
Because looking into the past is facing the present, not looking back at our life.
When I look at photographs, I am always concerned that the reflected image in any photo is just
a memory of the photographer.
I am usually attracted to photographer’s intention and point of view, more than the object itself
recorded in the photograph.
Furthermore, it is very interesting for me to re-create an old photo and make it into a new work,
as if I am taking new picture so as to move toward the reconstructed world.
Released from my memories and consideration, it leads me to a seemingly infinite number new
images and styles.
They liberate my inspiration completely to create new fictional material.
It gives me great pleasure to be able to create the installation – a space where personal
memories, records and photographers’ intention cross over and variety of factors are assembled,
in particular our daily emotions, which can in turn be shared with anybody.
In this moment, a special atmosphere appears, somehow like a reality or in another sense, it is
like a document, inharmonious with the common atmosphere of everyday life.
It is a kind of three-dimensional drama that spectators can actually step into, in that it is different
from the records images in the two-dimensional world of photography.
As a result, all the weight of history in the old photograph seems to have fallen away.
And only the essential quality of the image is revealed, whether it is a document or fiction.
It is just the way someone in the future might imagine it.