Project Description

Daguerreotype, Mirror with a Memory
Cutting-edge choreographer/ director/ performer Yoshiko Chuma continues a lifetime obsession with the mythology of danger. In Dagurreotype, Mirror with a Memory, her newest work, she intentionally proposes to confuse documentation with history, recreating segments from her own documented events in Bogota, Colombia and the USA. Chuma will assemble a mosaic of images, dancers, films and interviews whose content may pertain to pain, as if framing theater with barbed wire.  

Chuma will be collaborating with Takashi Arai, a visual artist from Japan, who works with daguerreotype photography as his artistic means and exhibits his works throughout Japan and worldwide. Members of Chuma’s company, The School of Hard Knocks, will be joined by Artistic director NataliaOrozco of Tercero Excluido, a dance company in Colombia, and 2 company dancers, to create energetic choreography based on these concepts. 

Daguerreotype, Mirror with a Memory bridges the past and present—from 1839 when taking a photograph took an enormous amount of time and commitment, to the present 2013, when people who live in the world with high technology and science can send instant images taken on smartphones through "cyberspace"—by examining the advancement of technology as well as the notion of photography as a container. When daguerreotype was introduced in 1839, photographs were very precious and previleged commodities. Photographs are still used to recall stories behind them, and images bring people back to the moments the photographs were taken. In one sense, photograph is a means to time-travel.

The project employs the process of daguerreotype making as a metaphoric vehicle for creating choreography and various stories, from Japan and Colombia, including Fukushima nuclear disaster, drugs, and complex crimes, using the inherent nature of daguerreotype for “non reproducible memory storage device.” Aspects from the mythology in Colombia will be juxtaposed with intense tragic-comic situations of looming peril in a borderless environment constantly reshaped by process and images of daguerreotypes.

As a creative process and through discussions and workshops, Chuma, Arai, and members of Tercero Excluido will examine daguerreotypes and the “memories” that might be exposed on imaginary silver plates. The performers will transform their memories and emotions into physical movements. The equipment related to daguerreotype making and motion sensor lighting systems will be installed on stage. The performers will utilize movements such as polishing the silver plates, timing the exposure process with metronomes, and posing still in front of cameras. Arai will exhibit his daguerreotypes at the performance venues and create one daguerreotype per performance during the actual performances as well. The daguerreotypes will become visible when a sound and light installation is turned on. Dancers’ movements activate the on/off of the sound/light installation. Structure and Score   

   Installation by Takashi Arai

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