October 2018, video, 30:25 min
Fade across, subway, elevator, flying kites, docks, shipping containers, industrial site, town.
What sits at the heart of the montage and does this serve a wider purpose? Standing on some corner of an industrial estate or on the edge of the shipyard. Not ‘looking at’ but ‘looking through’ …
Denis Villeneuve’s film Sicario (2015) happens along the Mexican borderline—a fact echoed by the film’s title in Japan. Apart from the thrust of the story spent searching for a crime boss said to have never been seen, it is the central characters who lend the landscape an ambiguous character all its own. One is a lawful divorcee, lost in the increased complex job that seems futile at best, while the other hangs in the background, hovering in the shadows, and vengeful throughout as he wakes from his slumber, fist clenched and screaming; his part of penetrating the quagmire turns slowly from advisor to revenant as he follows the Texan bounty hunters, CIA agents and the Afghan mercenaries he’s with. Good and bad are as vague as the borderline itself; shown as a wire fence and sequence of checkpoints neither one side nor the other. All the while, the border below ground is a more complex geology and almost nonexistent with a network of tunnels cutting through the US-Mexican rock and clay, ferrying everything from contraband to people, and existing more in mind and whispered gossip of agents than in actual fact, hinting that they probably exist ‘somewhere’. Everyone knows where they are, they’re just powerless to do anything about them.
Is this ‘uncertain’ border a clue to Suzuki’s own ‘Montage’ and part he plays within it all? What ever that part may be, it’s all a matter of perspective.
Montage, Hikari Suzuki
January 6 – February 10, 2018