Citizen(s) 

2018   Made in Mine city, Yamaguchi, Japan

 

Work format:  Video installation (Dimension variable)

  

Materials:  Projector, 2 screens

 

 

Introduction:

 

Citizen(s) is a double-sided video installation about ambiguities of citizenship.

The front of the installation shows an abstract image of a person, but the back reveals that the image is actually formed from layers of different people.

When we talk about a citizen of a city, we tend to imagine a typical image of a local face, local characteristic or local identity. In reality there is no such person who represents the "standard" of a city.

The layers of images are collective interviews with citizens in a city, answering questions such as, “What kind of city is it?”, “How do you imagine the city 20 years from now?”, and so on.

Each individual context cannot be heard, as the voices are also layered, hence only some fragments of spoken words can be heard, leading to the formulation of a story about the city from those fragments.

This particular work was made in Mine city, Yamaguchi in Japan where 2 towns and 1 city were integrated into a new city, 10 years before I made this work in 2018.

The integration happened due to the current hyper depopulation in Japan, where many municipalities are suffering from an ageing population with a declining birthrate. 

Since the newly merged city is still young, there is no typical 'local identity' yet. Rather a citizenship is a kind of polyphony created by ambiguous perspectives, opinions, conflicts and mutual respects.

Special thanks:

All the people in Mine city who participated in this project.

Ryo Oshima (sound edit)

Supported by:

Akiyoshidai International Artist Village

 

© Qenji Yoshida 2019