Aquarium of the Eye

On December 20th, I took part in a conversation with photographer Osamu Kanemura at Ebisu’s POST bookshop to celebrate his new photo book Concrete Octopus. Co-edited by Osiris in Tokyo and Lisbon’s Pierre von Kleist, the book of 40 plates has no real beginning, middle or end. In essence, Concrete Octopus is less of a book and more of a cold sweat, triggered by an unorganized and incoherent cityscape.

Inspired by the books strange title, I drew on something equally out of place: the image of the aquarium as a “container” to explore Kanemura’s visual practice anew. While introducing a mix of references, the conversation focused on his gaze toward the city and the sort of place he wishes to capture. With this in mind, I compiled and translated a selection of texts (see below) that best represent the city as a place best left well alone. It’s been said before“the city, it don’t love you. It never did …”

That night’s conversation worked a way through each passage, with a little help from Victor Hugo, James Ellroy, J.G.Ballard, Takuma Nakahira, and Martin Amis; touched on the presence of psycho buildings, wayward experimental films, exhibiting outdoors (with mixed success), being a film maker, a writer, and above all else a photographer.