Pictures of Japan 1962-1966
Johann Lurf and Laura Wagner
196x & 2020
Artist Statement
Based on the private archive of more than 4000 Kodachrome slides and several hours of 8mm films from an Austrian family living in Tokyo in the early 1960s, the project visualises a foreign perspective on Japan. Both have vanished since, Japan has transformed and the European views have shifted in the last 60 years. For the project a carefully selected choice from the large number of moving and still images will be presented in their original form of slide projection. We will analyse the themes and topics of the family father, what did he prefer to film, who are his favourite subjects and how are they placed in his images. Additional to the results of the analysis, texts from the father's archive will accompany the images and moving pictures, similar to the “Earth Series”, our previous collaboration.
The work reveals a time capsule from the 1960s of an Austrian family living in Japan. At first sight the project seems to focus on the aspect of THEN. How was Japan seen 60 years ago? But when reflecting on the shown material the observer has the chance to ask what has actually changed. How did an Austrian perspective on Japan look like? How are these photos different from NOW? The combination of images, data and texts gives us the opportunity to look at the lives behind and in front of the camera as well as their relations to each other.
Artist Bio
Johann Lurf restructures images with documentary and found footage. Born 1982 he graduated at Harun Farocki in the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. He participated in residencies in L.A., Chicago, Tokyo and the Academy of Arts in Berlin. His work was recognised with awards and is presented worldwide. Laura Wagner's work focuses on the use and interpretation of light in architecture and art history in relation to social hierarchies and power gaps. She grew up in Munich and studied at the Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig and the University of Applied Arts Vienna where she graduated in 2012.