小沢 裕子 ｜ Yuko Ozawa
I want to make a device that could softly get me or you down from the place where we are now. If I matched perfectly with ‘me’, I wouldn't be able to recognize myself, as there is nothing to be compared and there is no discomforting feeling. In order to ascertain myself, I need to shift me from the place where ‘I’ am, just like the situation when I shift myself into the mirror and see it in there. The fact that I can see my figure in the mirror means that a boundary was created between two situations: this side and the other, shifted side. ‘I’ am sensed on neither divided side. It’s on the boundary between the two sides where ‘I’ emerge.
There are some series in my works where I ask a person who doesn’t know Japanese to copy some Japanese letters. While we are trying to understand the meaning of what we are reading, we are usually unconscious of the letters themselves written there. The core of understanding letters, or words, is to assimilate ourselves into others. In the progress of understanding meaning of words, we temporarily are to leave us to others. However, for the person who copied letters in this artwork, these piles of lines don’t contain any meaning. Where, then, are we leaving us up to, while we read these ‘letters’?
We often leave ourselves into videos as well. When we see a movie, we are to sympathize with its story. In the work composed of some put-together videos, individually and incoherently found on the Internet, the sound and the subtitle seem to be synchronized with each other at first glance. However, they slightly go shifted, and in the end, everything ---the sound, the subtitle, even the background music--- gets pulled apart. What remains after all is the audience.
I have been producing my works, focusing especially on 'words'. Words are a borrowed thing, which has already existed since before we were born. However, we use words every day; as if words themselves were exactly what we were, saying 'I am…’ We cannot return to a being without words, yet still I want to take words out of our bodies. In the series titled ‘speakers’, the performers speak through the body of others, and their bodies are used as a device for talking with others. I have done this at my Artist Talk and workshops several times. The person who has got to be ‘a device' becomes an existence like a machine, which simply keeps copying the sound from their earphones. While understanding meaning of words as the audience, we strongly get conscious of the person who is made to speak. Some get angry or feel unpleasant by seeing this performance. I want to consider what our consciousness is, or why we regard others as a being that has consciousness, with stepping back a little bit from where I am now.