On ‘Reflected Cinema’ (q&a)

Iimura Takahiko

Interviewer Shisei Hashimura

Shisei: When did you first come to NY and why did you come here?
Takahiko: Well, about 30 years ago I was invited by a class that was called International Seminar at Harvard University, then I moved to NY and had stayed from1966 to 1969. as a fellow of Japan Society. And that time I was getting involved with the Avant garde art movement such as happening or event, and also something like multi media now which we used to call inter media.

S: You are a friend of Jonas Mekas, aren’t you?
T: Before I came to NY, I showed my work ” Love” to Yoko Ono when she came back from NY and she really liked the work and composed a music for the work, and told Jonas Mekas about me. He saw the work when it was shown in NY, and wrote a review about it. So she introduced him to me.

S: How long have you been in NY totally?
T: Totally 30 years, but correctly I’ve stayed for 20 years because I’ve stayed in Paris, Berlin and Tokyo where I have shown and made my work as well as NY.

S: First you started with 8mm film then moved to video in ‘70’s. Is this because of a fact that you can get equipment much easier than before?
T: Well, that was the one of the reasons but also end of ‘60’s people like Nam June Paik inspired me and I discovered something different possibilities into video beside film. Yet I’m still working with 16mm, too.

S: Can you tell me about the work you are going to show at The Kitchen Video Annex in Thread Waxing Space from February 8th? It’s called “A I U E O NN Six Features”.
T: I will install six monitors that surround people. This is shown first time in NY but I already showed this in Europe and Tokyo. There is a funny gap between my face expanded and contracted by computer and Japanese vowels I pronounce. Jack Derrida once talked about “Differential Extension”. This work is based on that idea. I did performance in front of this video installation when it was shown in Tokyo in 1994.

S: You were supported by Sony for this project, right?
T: Yes, I worked with some engineers to manipulate my face, and the machine costs about several hundreds thousand dollars!

S: Some of your works will be shown at Film Theater, Light House in Lower East Side on February 9th. Can you talk about that?
T: Yes, my show will be the inauguration of the theater, and selected film works between ‘60’s to ‘90’s will be shown including “Love” that Yoko Ono put music on.

S: What’s your next plan?
T: I have some ideas. I’m also interested in internet and computer, I have some friends who own home pages, too. I hope I can show my work on internet in the near future.