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Artcourt Gallery
Tenmabashi 1-8-5,
Osaka 530-0042 Japan   map * 
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Norio Imai Retrospective - Reflection and Projection
by Artcourt Gallery
Location: Artcourt Gallery
Artist(s): Norio IMAI
Date: 8 Jul - 2 Aug 2014

ARTCOURT Gallery is pleased to present the exhibition Norio Imai Retrospective - Reflection and Projection. After the breakup of “Gutai” in 1972, Imai’s work strengthened its conceptual tendencies. Shifting from his prior explorations of spatial expression through white forms toward an interest in non-material image projection, Imai began experimenting with multifaceted visualizations of time, using photography to cut out moments of time, film to capture the flow of time, and video, with its capacity for simultaneous replay.
This exhibition offers a look back at this artist’s undertakings in photography and projection media over an approximately ten-year period, with an emphasis on his works from the 1970s.

About Joint Film

At the time around 1970, all the news programs and dramas and commercials on television were still shot on film, which the editors had to do the painstaking work of cutting with splicers, and gluing together.

Unlike videotape, film was a thing that was expended in direct relation to the amount of time the camera was run, and of course a lot of that film ended up being thrown out. I got a large amount of it. For the “Image Expression ’72” exhibition at Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art, I cut up a lot of that film and spread it all over the floor, and also stuck some into a slide mount and projected it onto the wall. Here, film was a material severed from its societal and commercial connections, and stripped of its functions as a medium – and from the “site” where this had occurred, there were not a few visitors who took home some of those fragments of images. Then, at “Image Expression ’73”,

I “screened” Jointed Film, which I had made by randomly connecting those fragments of a few frames each, which had been stepped on by the shoes of the visitors at the exhibition the previous year. A dizzying array of unrelated images flit across the screen, some flipped upside-down or backwards, and some in black-and-white, images from all manner of sources, from city scenes to historical dramas, nature programs and commercials. Parts of the magnetic stripe on the edge of the film produce intermittent sounds mixed with unintelligible words spoken in a foreign language. On the whole, I’d say the piece is rather tiring on the eyes. But I’ve noticed that within this fragmentary assortment of images, with its impressions of once-popular celebrities, bell-bottoms, bowling scenes and such, there is an unmistakably early-1970s-period sensibility that is being conveyed.

Is this a bunch of information society wreckage that is being preserved in an art package and endowed with different values?
- extract from Norio Imai’s Shiro kara Hajimaru – Watashi no Bijutsu Nò„to
(Starting from White – My Notes on Art (in Japanese only), published by Brain Center.

*image (left)
courtesy of the aritst and Artcourt Gallery

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