A Persistent Vision: The Films of Tatsu Aoki, 1981-1997 | Chicago Reader

A Persistent Vision: The Films of Tatsu Aoki, 1981-1997

This is the second in a series of four programs collecting the work of this local experimental artist. In his best films Tatsu Aoki uses cinematic materials not to represent objects or even to unmask illusions, but to place the viewer in an almost meditative state. By the way he calls attention to the mechanics of filmmaking, he also suggests that all images are ultimately illusory. Sound in Sync (1984) consists of two ten-minute takes; Aoki films people on Michigan Avenue but soon pans up into the blue. The long middle portion of each take consists of almost imperceptible camera movements across the sky while the sound track continues to record people talking on the street, presumably in perfect sync with the image. The film refocuses our attention from what we?re most accustomed to looking at to a world almost of pure color. In Hallway (1985) Aoki superimposes multiple images of the same hallway taken with different emulsions, and film light takes priority over the people who flit by like ghosts. And in Waiting Room (1985) a revolving glass door reflecting pictures on a wall creates moving frames within frames, suggesting that the framing action of a camera has visible parallels in urban life. Shape (1996) completes the program.

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