Like news reports of wartime Japan, films with stories or a precise structure throw images at an audience with their meanings already intact. Rather than making films with my own imposed structure, my method is to abandon structure altogether or, in other words, layer images that once embodied meaning on top of one another until they become unintelligible. I aim for the resulting composite ‘image’ to be like a nameless animate being with a limitless capacity for meanings so that my films become triggers for an audience to venture into their own imagination. (Makino Takashi)
In his digital video work, filmmaker Makino Takashi blends near-infinite levels of superimposition and swirling fields of abstraction to create transcendent, oceanic experiences of immersion and sensuous overwhelm. Composited from over 200 layers of imagery captured by the artist in Japan, Europe and the U.S., and with a slow-rolling soundtrack by Reinier Van Houdt, Memento Stella (2018) embodies an evolutionary and elegiac contemplation of consciousness and unconsciousness adrift in the universe. Visiting from Japan on a U.S. tour, Makino Takashi appears in person.
on Momento Stella: For several years I’ve traveled the world, screening my work. And throughout this dark, sad world, amid war and terrorism, countless lives lost to natural cataclysms caused by human-caused, and there hasn’t been a single day that death hasn’t been in my thoughts. At the same time, I do realize that it is not only death that binds us. We are also born and raised and living on this little planet, among the stars. I pursue my work with the idea that if each day, we might be conscious of this truth for even a moment, then maybe perhaps somewhere deep in our hearts, we might find shared artistic expressions, keys to a place beyond the religions, politics, borders, languages, and personal desires which tear us apart. (Makino Takashi, December 2017)
Presented with generous support from the Japan Foundation, New York.