Japan in early summer / A river in July / The same road / Is the belief of the one who wins in war the correct one? / Kamakura / “There is nothing left in me,” she said / Flowers / Afternoon / The wind blew stronger then anticipated on top of the hill / Countless fields / No landscape is ever complete, instead there is light and time, and darkness / Night / Promises / Autumn
“Toyoda’s images of everyday life… delicately confront issues of memory and temporality and the liminal spaces between them.” –Mia Ferm, Cinema Project
Black Moon is the most recent work from Hitoshi Toyoda, who has been working in the medium of slideshows for the past two decades. Personally operating one or more analog slide projectors, Toyoda’s screenings take the form of a feature-length visual diary. His photographs can only be seen in this live context.
Black Moon recounts “days spent in Japan during a certain year, elapsing from early summer towards the winter”. Toyoda weaves multiple visual threads (with an occasional inter-title) that suggest oblique narratives, which resist sedimentation and embody a preoccupation with transience.
“The images which appear on screen could not be grasped even if one were to try. Like everyday disappointments or pleasures, they wash away and disappear with time.”- Hitoshi Toyoda
Masafumi Fukagawa, Curator at the Kawasaki City Museum Tokyo, describes Toyoda’s work as existing “somewhere between photography and Haiku literature” because of the way these slideshows encompass both the minutiae of daily life and the larger, unknowable forces that govern that life.
“Things appear and then disappear for eternity…every moment. That is why I show my work in the medium of the slideshow rather than fixing an image on paper. I am as interested in the moments when an image fades from the screen as when it appears. There are things in our lives that we can see only after they have disappeared. The black between the slides, which I call ‘darkness,’ evoke what is absent. …I am trying to bind three dimensions of time together with delicate thread: the time, or the period in my life I photographed, the time passing inside of me while looking back at it, and the time the audience experiences while watching the images in the venue.” – Hitoshi Toyoda.
Black Moon by Hitoshi Toyoda
a photographic slideshow by Hitoshi Toyoda
2010 – 2011, 80 min, 35mm slide film, Japan