|Participating Project||Research Residency Program|
|Activity Based||New Zealand|
|Period||2014.1 - 2014.2|
The title of this research project, See You at Yasukuni, references a phrase that Japanese WWII kamikaze pilots would say to each other before going in to battle and ultimately death. Specifically, Yasukuni is a Tokyo based Shinto shrine that's dedicated to those who died whilst serving the Emperor. Yasukuni, and its' accompanying WWII memorial museum (Yushukan), have long been sites of controversy for their supposed honouring of war criminals, revisionist forms of history, and promotion of imperial nationalist ideologies. Accordingly, this research takes the contentious Yasukuni shrine and Yushukan museum as its point of focus to critique the complexities of lens-based (photography/moving-image) representation in relationship to essentially traumatic military, and politically contentious histories.
The residency will focus on producing a series of present-day photographs/moving-image of the Yasukuni shrine and Yushukan museum, as well as researching related archival imagery. By working with existing material, along with images produced during the residency itself, See You at Yasukuni aims to critically explore the complexities of narratives, ideologies, and archives linking to essentially traumatic and nationalist contextualizing histories. Core to this research is a critique of what it may mean to 'image' historical, ideological and political conflict through ethnographic, imagined, and documentary means. Resulting artworks resist any attempts to directly 'tell the stories' of Japan's WWII military and nationalist histories - rather the aim is to question what it might mean, along with how, to make sense of such narratives and documents now.