Artist Blog

Every week an artist whose single image was published by Der Greif is given a platform in which to blog about contemporary photography.

Should we still call them pictures?

Mar 25, 2017 - Rachele Monti

He is probably a already known artist to most of you, but last week I attended the opening of Daisuke Yokota’s solo exhibition at the FOAM in Amsterdam.

In the work “Matter”, exhibited now at the FOAM, Yokota deprive the classical photographic processes and the image itself of all its relevance. He uses as a primary material some of his old picture and focuses his practice on giving a new life to the prints and to the photographic films. Since all the process lay in the destruction of the image, the act of photographing became almost insignificant, and we don’t wonder anymore about what should or had been represented on the original picture. In his installation/performance, he creates a space where the viewer is completely submerged by the “pictures”. Should they still be called pictures now that we can not distinguish them anymore?

While visiting the exhibition the spectator feels in an outer space, a parallel world, created with anonymous image. A metaphor of the flood of images that we are already used to see every day and, because of this information overload, they loose of significance and we can easily forget them. While using and re-using old pictures, by destroying the deconstructed images, he also moves a critics to the art system: Why should we limit the reproduction of our pictures if the medium we use is made to be reproduced over and over again? What are the values of an image and where do the values come from ? His work is the embodiment of how I believe contemporary photography should be today: Something that, in the chase of new possibilities, fight and argue the medium itself.

Speaking about him made me remember of last Autumn when I was visiting the Unseen Photo Fair in Amsterdam.  There, I discovered numerous others Japanese artists that, I have to be fair, I never had the curiosity to investigate before that moment. I was amazed by their works, especially by the organic feel of their images and by the feelings that they communicate to me.  I let you discover, here below, a selection of stimulating pictures made by Japanese artists: