c-prints of 5 digital photographs, 20 x 27 cm
Tent Gallery, Edinburgh
Ross Mclean, Mark Eischeid, Catriona Glover and Stefania Strouza, along with ECA PhD student Danni DeFazio, spent two weeks in Japan in July 2010. In addition to presenting their work and the ASN programme to audiences at Yamaguchi Institute for Contemporary Art (YICA) and Aichi Prefectural University of Fine Art and Music (APUFAM), they also performed fieldwork in Megijima alongside the Setouchi International Arts Festival.
While in Megijima, an island in the Seto Inland Sea, the group explored its natural and cultural landscape through walking, or rather drifting, as a means of re-mapping the terrain. The fieldwork gradually focused on several intrinsic characteristics of Megijima, such as the relationships between center and edge, between symbol and meaning, between revealing and concealing, and between past and present identities. Such traits were interpreted as characteristics of a place that eludes clear definition, partially revealing its meaning to the visitor as a series of instances in the landscape.
This understanding of place as constantly unfolding was the foundation for a series of performative images captured in varied locations across the island. With the “assistance” of several props that were actually discarded objects from a traditional Japanese house, the team “constructed” situations aimed at highlighting or framing the observed intrinsic characteristics of the island. The final works employ physical engagement while implying an absence or detachment of the subject, thereby reflecting the nature of negotiating an unfamiliar landscape.