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Early Conceptual Videos

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Early Conceptual Videos


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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.)

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