Shizuka Yokomizo explores the phenomenon of the photographic image by looking at its different visual and non-visual spaces in its various stages of making. Her work to date has put emphasis on the conditions of producing the photograph, often effectively raising the material and temporal status of this alongside that of the image itself.
In her new work shown here, she takes instead the residual material of a previous project, engaging with it as a material in limbo, disconnected but not disavowed from its original conditions. The images derive from the out-takes of one of several shoots in 2008/9 when Yokomizo was involved in meeting various women in hotel rooms and photographing them in their trade as sex workers. Although an original intention and contractual aspect are still embedded in these images, they have in a sense slipped out of vigilance and are both prone to manipulation as well as having a life of their own, somewhat liberated by a minor and abstracted status. A close view of the image material revealed a toughness and vulnerability, an anonymity and personality that was vital in constructing its new visibility. The works can be seen as moments of question and pause to prompt identification, reception or consumption and a glimpse of the autonomous spaces that images inhabit.
Shizuka Yokomizo, born in Tokyo, lives and works in London. Her work in recent years has been included in At The Window (2013, The Photographer’s View, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles); The Other Portrait (2013, MART Museum, Rovereto) and Talent Show (2012, MoMA PS1, New York, USF Contemporary Art Museum, Florida). She took part in Exposed (2010), which toured the Tate Modern in London, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMoMA) and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. She also participated in Roppongi Crossing 2010 at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo. Her works are included in several collections, including the Art Institute Chicago, SFMoMA, The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, The 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa (Japan), and the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography.