watashi-tachi
Walter Seidl
2008-2014
Artist Statement
The photo-sound project "watashi-tachi", which translates into "we" or "us" deals with the rapid changes in Japan's metropolises, among them mainly Tokyo. Cityscapes and changing image politics in public space try to reflect and counterbalance hegemonic power structures. In crisis-ridden times, a plethora of media images suggests hyper-perfection in everyday life, with which everybody, we and us try to identify. At a fast-moving pace, the project reflects on a seemingly unfailing devotion to life, demons for work and a 24/7 frisky attitude of people. Everything seems to be possible, at least on a medial surface. The soundscape underlines the ambience felt in certain moments, while the poetic text written especially for the project by Japanese writer Yasuhiro Yotsumoto tries to fathom all possible identity formations inherent in Japanese city life. What is perfectly conceived for a lived reality seems to surpass any conventional concepts of life.
The work reflects on the changes in Japan, starting before the crisis of 2008 and going beyond the Fukushima Daiichi catastrophe of 2011. Like no other country, Japan manages to continue its outward progress that makes life especially in Tokyo seem to function perfectly, with no flaws accepted and the word “No” officially not outspoken. The public space with its proliferation of images testifies to the endeavor of keeping an eternal workflow alive and thereby trying to overcome any externally inflicted problems.
Artist Bio
Walter Seidl's artistic work deals with the transition of narrative, photography-based structures into proto-filmic scenarios. The ephemeral notions of the subjects' encounters in Seidl's photography allude to stories, which are open to a number of possible interpretations but always derive from the artist's personal relationships. The traditional medium in which Seidl presents his work are slide installations with sound, where real and fictional realms mingle in order to hint at the present conditions of life with its socio-political impacts.