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Charming Thanatological Matter into a Chance Dance: Daisuke Yokota @ Unseen

By Michael Salu on September 19, 2015

“…she finds herself again lying on coarse cotton and the colours have returned, they swim again in front of her floating over a layer of monochrome that somehow doesn’t steal their light, angles of brightness, faded pattern and fauna, paper lifted from a wall as they spin into recognisable textures and she realises no time at all has passed.”

By Michael Salu, ASX, September 2015

On the bed she sat. Then she lay. Then she sat up again. Then she lay, twisting bedsheets, fighting with boredom. She sees the wall. Looking up, there are floral cotton sheets hanging torpidly in between the varnished slats of the bunk above. Them flowers have faded, salmon pink turning to yellow. The wall returns. She looks again sitting up into a narrow, brutally sharp shard of light slicing through a gap in the curtains and through her right eye. Squarely she is hit and an explosion of colour ensues. Still she is with her fight. Her restlessness warmed by the glare and touched by the dust of this shard. It is too early for bed. The sun hasn’t retired, why should she? Those colours be swimming around the outside of a bowl, coursing blues and oranges and pinks and she closes one eye for respite, wondering how the blind see light while reaching toward the shard, it remains unrelenting with brutal disruption and the shard cuts across her arm and she looks at the rest of her arm and body in darkness, in monochrome and steps out of the suddenly disorientating blackness on to the window pane and the fug of a midsummer evening.

From the window ledge she reaches for the least mottled apple weighing heavily on the tree. Leaning precariously, the branch deceptively teases her weight and she thinks there’s enough for one more squeeze of effort, she reaches the apple and the branch’s grip relents. Days later she finds herself again lying on coarse cotton and the colours have returned, they swim again in front of her floating over a layer of monochrome that somehow doesn’t steal their light, angles of brightness, faded pattern and fauna, paper lifted from a wall as they spin into recognisable textures and she realises no time at all has passed.

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“Yokota can see that and chooses instead to enshrine thanatological matter and chemical processes that burn up his moments under a swarming lava, spitting up ashen metamorphosis on to paper”

There was time in every event and every event became every layer and every layer became another sluice of coloured vagary, impudently impressed one onto another. Daisuke Yokota will tell you where time lies in his photographs. He’ll tell you why his images are not still. He could break each swirling moment in a moment right down to you and your eye need not even be attuned to the gristle in a photograph. Moment after circumstantial moment, chance and coagulated memory bind themselves together in a very specific dance. Layered tropes and traces in a timeline spliced together through intangible acts, a painting restoration in reverse. Actions of photographing from mechanical shutter to digital crop and filter. The latter yet denied by many as a method with merit, though surely it is that and more when you shoot a frame and you move into it and through the tools available to your fingertips and your own eye is making that juxtaposition, finding that colour leaking into a pre-ambulated narrative and you repair and refresh and re-layer, whilst Yokota can see that and chooses instead to enshrine thanatological matter and chemical processes that burn up his moments under a swarming lava, spitting up ashen metamorphosis on to paper or canvas and delivering all these moments, these tributaries of time into a familiar richly posthumous distillation.

http://unseenamsterdam.com/photos/556

(All rights reserved. Text @ Michael Salu. Images @ Daisuke Yokota.)

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