Polar Bear

Polar Bear Polar Bear

SUGIMOTO Hiroshi 杉本 博司

The photographs of Hiroshi Sugimoto have a mixed effect on the viewer, conveying a sense of cool objectivity but also arousing feelings of nostalgia. Over the last twenty years, beginning in the 1970s, Sugimoto has produced three major series, "Dioramas, Theaters, and Seascapes", all based on the theme of time. The "Dioramas" are the displays of stuffed animals and their habitat that are created in natural history museums. Sugimoto photographs them as if they are real. The dead animals appear to be alive, reflecting by way of contrast the fragility of the real world and of life, an expression of a life (time) that only becomes visible through death (termination). The "Theaters" are photographs of movie theater interiors, centered on the screen and taken with the shutter left open during the entire duration of a film. We see the image of a glowing white screen, which dimly lights the interior of the dark theater. Ordinary photography brings time into artistic expression by capturing a single moment. Here, by making a photograph of a running film, a continuous series of momentary images,the artist transforms finely divided time into pure continuity, making it into a single photographic image.In his "Seascapes", Sugimoto carefully avoids dramatic elements like storms clouds and rough waves, capturing a primal image of a still sea, the image of the sea in memory. Here, time is connected to memory, and to history as the accumulation of memory.In these works Sugimoto brings photography close to an inner vision rather than making art out of what he sees in the external world. A cool sense of distance is brought into play so that the image is not overly affected by its content.At the same time, these images emerge from a place deep within the artist's memory and, as a result, are received with a sense of familiarity, even nostalgia, by the viewer.rnrn
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Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo
Polar Bear
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Gelatin silver print
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Other items of Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (7414)