Monday, November 16, 2015

Reflections Raccoons + Ishiuchi Miyako

My next read - - - 

Leana and Meila dancing under Peace sculptures

my beautiful dates to Ishiuchi Miyako's lecture at HCU

HOTEL Parking sign becomes HOLP

Ishiuchi Miyako's mother was a taxi driver....

I am so grateful for my lifesaving friend Michiko who continues to be my dear friends - she simultaneously translated Ishiuchi Miyako's lecture today into my left ear. Miwako-san was born in 1947. Here are some of the things she said: "I don't really like universities. I dropped out. Universities make me uneasy. Why photography? To let off steam.I didn't "learn photography". I built a darkroom and entered it. I studied weaving but had no success, When I entered the darkroom it smelled like the same chemicals used in weaving - acetic acid....Photography = Weaving. Toners for photography smell like dyes for textiles. 

Her mother's story is quite remarkable. She was adopted because she came from a very poor family. She was forced to marry a servant but went back to her own family, had to work, got her drivers license at 18 - only the 2nd woman to do so, before the war. She drove a jeep for American soldiers as a taxi driver. Ishiuchi continues,"I couldn't communicate with her so I took pictures of her belongings after she died. I used color for the first time when I made a photograph of her red lipstick tube. I photographed the scars on her shoulders and chest from burns frying tempura....
Hiroshima was suggested to me as subject matter. I had never been. I came for the first time in 2007. I never wanted to come as a tourist. Many many people have already photographed Hiroshima....I thought, 'everything will disappear. Maybe art will remain.' My photographs of artifacts or relics are the result of my work in Hiroshima. I imagine the girl who was wearing this skirt. I focus on the DETAIL OF THE THING, not the thing as material. I photographed the 'pink shirt' (seen above) and later met the woman who donated it to the Peace Museum and she told me the shirt had been white originally but was stained with blood and burns. The woman said it was shattered and heartbreaking to see it NOW, 70 years laters. 
I was invited to Mexico to photograph Frida Kahlo's belongings. Frida is dead but her possessions remain. I have a retrospective at the Getty for the 70th anniversary of Hiroshima. I can't figure out if it for the anniversary of the END OF WAR or for the DROPPING OF THE ABOMB. My show is called Post War Shadows but when did the war ever end? America is always at war. The USA continues war. THE GETTY NEVER CALLED ME A WOMAN PHOTOGRAPHER.
Humans die. Things remain."
I asked her about the body that seems to be present in every project, even when representationally absent. She gave the most succinct and perfect answer: "I see the body as dish that holds time. If it becomes too full it breaks. I see it as sponge that absorbs its surroundings. It is a tool.

H+M window mannequin

pink elephant coiffed for a hair salon

Mirei tells me this is a raccoon!

WFC morning shadows

very cool, impeccably designed/decorated shop

spot of morning light in my room

resto facade

the thinker

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