Remote Controls

Essay by Teja Ream

Difference, displacement, and "the Other" are long-held terms of identity politics, and are under suspicion in Yumi Kinoshita's work. The fractured and reconstituted imagery in both her collage work and video work seeks to destabilize the discourse of representation through a quiet refusal to provide a monomyth or singular history.

Kinoshita's video pieces focus primarily on the multiplicity of representation. In her 2006 installation, source materials, five television sets are placed adjacently each playing a collage of footages taken by the artist in Japan, Hawaii and the United States. Each video is presented in equal standing and prompts the viewer to question the signifiers of identity, culture, and context while simultaneously demonstrating to the viewer their own visual predilection. As the five separate but equal videos play out, political and cultural distinctions are blurred; recognizable localities of place emerge and meld. This displacement is reflected both in the divided nature of five separate videos, as well as the spectator's split investment of attention; which places a premium on one over the others. In this configuration of Choose Your Own Adventure-style of experience, the notion of a "visual" survival manifests. What content garners attention? What experience is remembered? What (hi)story is recorded?

The lingering shots are formally composed and lend themselves ripe for meditation. From this place of meditation the multiple works vie for attention, calling for questions, for an awareness, and a dialog of the ever shifting ideas of difference, the creation of histories, and the obsolescence of difference.

Teja Ream 2006