Japan in early summer / A river in July / The same road / Is the belief of the one who wins in war the correct one? / Kamakura / “There is nothing left in me,” she said / Flowers / Afternoon / The wind blew stronger then anticipated on top of the hill / Countless fields / No landscape is ever complete, instead there is light and time, and darkness / Night / Promises / Autumn
“Toyoda’s images of everyday life… delicately confront issues of memory and temporality and the liminal spaces between them.” –Mia Ferm, Cinema Project
Black Moon is the most recent work from Hitoshi Toyoda, who has been working in the medium of slideshows for the past two decades. Personally operating one or more analog slide projectors, Toyoda’s screenings take the form of a feature-length visual diary. His photographs can only be seen in this live context.
Black Moon recounts “days spent in Japan during a certain year, elapsing from early summer towards the winter”. Toyoda weaves multiple visual threads (with an occasional inter-title) that suggest oblique narratives, which resist sedimentation and embody a preoccupation with transience.
“The images which appear on screen could not be grasped even if one were to try. Like everyday disappointments or pleasures, they wash away and disappear with time.”- Hitoshi Toyoda
Masafumi Fukagawa, Curator at the Kawasaki City Museum Tokyo, describes Toyoda’s work as existing “somewhere between photography and Haiku literature” because of the way these slideshows encompass both the minutiae of daily life and the larger, unknowable forces that govern that life.
“Things appear and then disappear for eternity…every moment. That is why I show my work in the medium of the slideshow rather than fixing an image on paper. I am as interested in the moments when an image fades from the screen as when it appears. There are things in our lives that we can see only after they have disappeared. The black between the slides, which I call ‘darkness,’ evoke what is absent. …I am trying to bind three dimensions of time together with delicate thread: the time, or the period in my life I photographed, the time passing inside of me while looking back at it, and the time the audience experiences while watching the images in the venue.” – Hitoshi Toyoda.
Black Moon by Hitoshi Toyoda
a photographic slideshow by Hitoshi Toyoda
2010 – 2011 | Japan | 80 min | 35mm slide film | silent
Hitoshi Toyoda was born in New York City and grew up in Tokyo. He now lives and works in Yugawara, Japan after living in New York for twenty-two years. He has presented his work in museums, galleries, public spaces and film festivals such as Setagaya Art Museum, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Images Festival (Toronto), Anthology Film Archives, Cinema Project (Portland), Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Yokosuka Museum of Art, Taka Ishii Gallery (Tokyo). Alternatively Toyoda has continued to present his work in Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines, churches as well as a Jomon Period Archaeological Site.
Aily Nash is a curator and writer. She has curated programs and exhibitions for MoMA PS1 (NYC), FACT (Liverpool), BAM/Brooklyn Academy of Music (NYC), Anthology Film Archives (NYC), Light Cone’s Scratch Expanded (Paris), Northwest Film Center (Portland), Image Forum (Tokyo), Echo Park Film Center (L.A.), Art Cinema OFFoff (Ghent), and others. Recent exhibitions include Image Employment for MoMA PS1, and To Look is to Labor for CCS Bard/Basilica Hudson. Her writing has appeared in the Brooklyn Rail, Artforum.com, Film Comment, Kaleidoscope, and de Filmkrant. She has lectured at Cornell University, Universität der Künste Berlin (UdK), and NYU. Nash curates films for Basilica Hudson, is co-editor of a film criticism program at the Berlinale Film Festival, and currently teaches at Parsons The New School for Design and Bruce High Quality Foundation University in New York. She is based in Hudson and Brooklyn, New York.
David Dinnell has been programming for the Ann Arbor Film Festival since 2006, and has been the AAFF Program Director since 2010. David was the Film Programmer for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Union Theatre for five seasons and was Program Director of the Media City Film Festival (Windsor, Canada) from 2004-2006. He has curated special film programs for the the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, the Wisconsin Film Festival, the California Institute of Arts, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Etiuda & Anima Film Festival in Krakow, Poland. His own moving image work has been exhibited at various venues including the International Film Festival Rotterdam, EXiS (S. Korea), Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival (Czech), Images Festival (Toronto) and Views from the Avant Garde (New York Film Festival).