Working in film since the early 1960s and in video since the early 1970s (as well as significant forays into performance, installation and computer-based work), Takahiko Iimura has long been a pioneer artist of Japanese experimental media art. His body of work has deeply explored the material and conceptual foundations of each medium with robust intellectual rigor and flashes of playful humor. In the wake of a recent Microcinema International DVD release (the first volume of The Collected Films of Takahiko Iimura) and a related book (The Collected Writings from Wildside Press), this two-part mini-retrospective represents an overview of this artist’s rich and remarkable body of work.
Takahiko Iimura’s earliest films, including Kuzu (Junk), Ai (Love) and A Dance Party in the Kingdom of Lilliput No. 1, were largely inspired by the work of the 1920s French surrealists and were produced in relative isolation in Japan. Created using 8mm cameras or abandoned and distressed found footage, they retain the intimacy of the home movie and a taboo-breaking joyousness, exploring abstraction and eroticism with charming candor and a whimsical sense of the absurd. These early films are screened with a sampling of video works from the 1970s and ‘80s which investigate the temporal and spatial paradoxes of presence and absence inherent in the electronic medium, including A Chair, Blinking, Time Tunnel, Man and Woman, Visual Logic (and Illogic), Double Portrait and I Love You.