Prints: A place for reality and fiction

Ever since humans acquired the technology of materializing and realizing fiction in the real world, the realm of human interpretation has come to directly impact the real world. The history of media development is also making a shift from the challenge of how accurately reality can be depicted onto a flat surface to the inverted place of how real an image can appear. Everything now seems to be detached from their original context and environment, and reorganized into a world of symbols, language, and data that have lost their specificity and wholeness. My work aims to reconstitute a new wholeness by reducing these things to matter, connecting them to different contexts and bringing them back into reality.

Underlying my artistic activity is the experience of seeing printed matter as a child when I was still unable to make the distinction between reality and fiction. To my eyes, monochrome photographs printed as coarse, dotted halftones looked blurred, and I experienced the materiality of such images first through the smell and texture of ink and paper before I could grasp their content. As I could not read the text, I could not understand the meaning of what was being photographed; I was never sure what was true or fiction. There was a mysterious feeling about images existing as images, which made me feel the presence of something outside of the world I knew. This for me was a formative experience. There once existedan equal relationship between images and myself——images as primal textures, and myself as a child, still neither self-aware nor yet recognized by the world as a stable identity. Through printed matter, which functions through reproducibility, specific experiences arise. These specific experiences in turn shake up our sense of self to the extent that we are created anew. What I am trying to do with my art is to recreate this very experience.

Like two sides of the same coin, when things become visible, things also become invisible. I try to make visible this vast blindspot and the state and structure of invisibility by creating an inverted, nested state, while reintroducing analogue media, which involves an invisible process and time-lag until something becomes visible, into the creative process. I was at the mercy of the seprocesses when constructing my work. The state of invisibility or the time-lag until something becomes visible prompts us to become active to try and see the invisible, while unpredictability and the accidents and failures that it entails awakens the kind of subjectivity that is triggered when we act before we understand, orwhen we have no choice but to self-reconstruct.

When we sense reality in something and that becomes a specific experience for us, our identity and the subject in question are shaken up. I think we become subjective and active for the first time when this sort of awakening occurs. Now that old media and technology are being lost, and as our circumstances and the understanding of our circumstances are changing at a dizzying pace, reality should not be recreated so that it sits well within the realm of human interpretation but rather, human interpretation and output should be recreated in response to reality. That, I believe, isone way in which fiction——which is based on our interpretationof reality——functions. And for me, the place created by print(matter) is where this fiction can be realized.

November 7, 2023 Midori Harima
Translated by Haruko Kohno





2023年11月7日 播磨みどり 藤沢市にて

TEXT ”Prints: A place for reality and fiction/印刷:リアリティとフィクションの場所”(2023)
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