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Early Conceptual Videos

Year: 1970-1977, 23 mins
Code: TI-Early
ISBN: 10: 4-901181-30-0

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After coming back from New York in 1969, Takahiko iimura began video production in Tokyo. Working in experimental film since the early 1960s, he first combined the art of film with video, thus making a kind of flicker effect in video in two pieces: "A Chair " (1970) and "Blinking" (1970). These videos are experiments in perception, and are very minimal formally, consisting mostly of a single object. "Time Tunnel" (1971) is an attempt at time travel in a very conceptual sense. The video combines a repetition of the countdown leader of film, which runs the numbers 10 to 1 , with the feedback effect of video. The result is a tunneling of the numbers in time.

"Man and Woman" (1971) shows the full body of a man and a woman shot from above, in the posture of the drawing of a man by Leonardo Da Vinci, without movement. They are shown alone as well as together one over (or under) the other, narrating in words their positions at the same time. "Visual Logic (and Illogic)" (1977) shows the visual logic (and illogic) of various signs in letters and simple forms on paper combined with limited camera movement and voice-over narration.

These early videos constitute the very early experiments of a particular "conceptual video, " that almost no other video artists had ever tried at that time. Furthermore, this is an important collection to use for study of later developments in the art of iimura's video. (Most of the works are excerpted.)(T.I.)

Since the 1960s, Takahiko iimura’s explorations of the moving image have probed the relationship between media, time and language and have strived to redefine the exhibition of cinema as a mode of performance. He has worked closely with the giants of experimental film such as members of the Hi-Red Centre and Fluxus, Yoko Ono, Jonas Mekas, John Cage, Stan Brakhage and Stan Vanderbeek. His uncompromising work, here presented on DVD, bridges boundaries between film and performance art. "Although Taka was and continues to be an active part of the New York avant-garde scene, he always remained an enigmatic, mysterious presence, pursuing his own unique route through the very center of the avant-garde cinema. While the intensity and the fire of the American avant-garde film movement inspired him and attracted him, his Japanese origins contributed decisively to his uncompromising explorations of cinema's minimalist and conceptualist possibilities. He has explored this direction of cinema in greater depth than anyone else." – Jonas Mekas “From the early sixties, though Japanese, Iimura was well known as one of the first generation of the New York Underground ... For many years, Japanese experimental film was Takahiko Iimura” - Malcolm Le Grice

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