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Ukiyo Diary - One Month in the Floating World. Amoral artist Amanda is taking photographs of beautiful host guys with a small Polaroid camera in Tokyo’s "floating world." She acts like the nice photographer who does not steal the image of the other, but gives it back to him. Amanda conquers the labyrinthic alleys of Kabuki-cho with her female gaze. But she is constantly hindered by local club owners who are trying to sell her to Japanese sarariimen. Her assistant Anna secretely films everything with a videocamera hidden in a small handbag. While the two girls sink deeper into ”the dark side of society”, as one host named it, the real and the staged merge more and more... Ukiyo Diary is a video-photo-performance project that deals witha specific genre in the Japanese service economy, a peculiar form of emotional labour, or relational economics. It is about contemporary consumerism in an extreme urban area, that involves an intricate play between gender, ethnicity and class positions. On a meta-level it is discussing simulacrum, depiction, the process of making art, a representation of reality that intervene in reality. The act of portrayingothers with a camera is documented by another camera, which exposes the objecitifying, exoticing side of photography, and the artists use of the camera as a journalistic weapon, a protection and a tool in a visual catching game. The project is partly documentary, partly mockumentary, dealing with the confusion between the real and the staged.
Quotes in the project are from: Charles Baudelaire: The Painter of Modern Life, Angela Carter: Fireworks
Sei Shonagon: The Pillow Book, and excerpts from videogameYakuza 4.
Installation view from Ukiyo Diary - One Month in the Floating World at CFF, Centrum för Fotografi, Stockholm March 2017. 34 channel video piece. Scroll down for more images, description & press.
Installation view from Ukiyo Diary at Galleri Verkligheten, Umeå, October 2016.
Installation view from Ukiyo Diary at Skellefteå Konsthall, April 2016.
The project also exists as a 700 pages film novel in color that can be ordered online here: Ukiyo Diary - the artist book.
More shows and new installation versions to come.
Press about the project:
Dagens Nyheter 170222 about the show at CFF.
Fotografisk tidskrift about Ukiyo Diary.