Daisuke Yokota, Discovery Award, Rencontres d’Arles 2016
ARTIST PRESENTED BY MOUNA MEKOUAR
Daisuke Yokota’s pictures evoke the inhabited places, secret gardens, and inner spaces we all have inside us. His metaphorical conception of space—a fictional mental or lived-in place—immerses the viewer in a world hovering between presence and absence, oblivion and resurgence. Like a distant echo, the repetition and manipulation of the same body at different time-intervals attest to his obsession with updating the tense flow of his own memories, translating this dynamic introspection into images with no beginning or end. His photographs suggest buried strata, hidden or repressed truths and lost links to the past.
When I made the shift from film to digital some years ago, it dawned on me that certain technical and financial limits had been pushed back and I could take many shots. But at the same time, the consciousness I brought to each of my works seemed to weaken. When I see all these files saved in such huge numbers, they always look different than what I had imagined: almost no detailed memory appears on the paper, just the recollection of confused feelings.
Since I often photograph at night, I rely on senses other than sight, such as hearing. For example, I anticipate events or circumstances—footsteps or an approaching car—that might suddenly arise in my sound environment. Consequently, my attention is more on the background than on the subjects that originally should have been the focus. My sensorial impressions when shooting thus differ from the memories my camera encloses, and the gap between those sensations widens as time goes by.
Photography sometimes manages to turn the spectacle of the present moment into a recollection, but it fails to capture my memory or emotions, as though filtering my field of vision. I tend to see the world through those eff ects. That’s why it seems indispensable for me to make those invisible things visible.
With support from Galerie Jean-Kenta Gauthier, Paris.
Exhibition venue: Grande Halle.