横溝は1966年に東京に生まれ、1995年にロンドン大学ゴールドスミス校の美術修士課程を卒業。以後ロンドンを拠点に活動し、写真や映像の特性を用いることで自己と他者の関係性に注目した作品の発表を続けている。主に人物を被写体としてきた横溝の作品は、自己に還元できない他者の在り方や他者の構造を問いかけ、不可視の要素が内在するものを探りながら認識や実存という普遍的な課題に言及する。これまで、友人が眠りについた姿を写した《Sleeping》(1995-97)、見知らぬ他者との言葉を交わさぬ邂逅を撮影した《Stranger》(1998-2000)、イメージの虚構と実在を見つめた《All》(2008-10)などの作品を発表。近年はその中でもイメージの起源や生成される契機に注目し、作品に文化人類学的な視点を織り込みながら言及先を人物像以外にも発展させている。2000年代に参加した主な展覧会に、2010年六本木クロッシング(森美術館)、2015年アーティスト・ファイル 2015(国立新美術館)、2016年Japanese Photography from Postwar to Now, (SF MOMA)、2018年第10回恵比寿映像祭((東京都写真美術館)、 2019年MAMコレクション011(森美術館)等がある。
Born in Tokyo; currently residing in London
After moving to Britain in 1989 and earning a Master’s degree in Fine Arts at Goldsmiths College, University of London, Yokomizo continued her artwork with a focus on photography and video. Among her productions are photographic works that structurally incorporate the action of “seeing,” and videos on the topics of time and the body. In recent years she has been investigating the relationship between images and people.By making use of photography’s special properties, Yokomizo questions various relationships between the medium and human beings as subject matter. There is a stark contrast between the intimacy of "Sleeping", depicting a sleeping friend in a dark bedroom, and the brusque encounter in "Stranger", showing someone writing a letter to a seemingly unknown person without exchanging a word. Yokomizo selects her medium based on the theme of the work. This is apparent from "Forever (and again)", a video work focusing on the performance of an aged pianist, which deals with the theme of “time.” The series titled "all", depicting a pregnant woman’s body in which fantastic images intersect with reality, gave Yokomizo the opportunity to contemplates further on the cultural-anthropological issue of what images really are.
夜の闇に熟睡する友人を撮影した活動初期 のシリーズ。画面は薄暗い均質な闇の質感で構成され、そこで眠る被写体はみな、昼間、一人の人間とし て活動している時間とは異なり、作者との関係性も閉ざされ、人間を個人として決定するあらゆる社会的、文化的な条件の外部に置かれ、 ただ「もの」のように存在している。このシリーズは、海外居住者としてロンドンで生活をし始めた作家が、 ユダヤ系フランス人哲学者 E. レヴィナスの思想「ある （il ya イリヤ）：全ての存在者（主語となりうる実体） が闇に沈み、いっさいが主語のない「存在する」という出来事に還元される事態」に強く共感したことか ら着想された。
Shizuka Yokomizo’s early photographic series entitled Sleeping comprises photographs of her friends sleeping at night in the ambiguous half-light of their bedrooms. The images are carefully composed and only after a close observation is it possible to identify the sleeping person and thus share the intimacy established between the artist and the subject. It is the close enough relationship with the artist which allowed the subject to repose and fall asleep in front of the camera. As Yokomizo always does with her creations, here she again presents not only what she visibly reproduces with her camera and prints thereof but also the core images of humans that in itself are generated by hidden chords—the images that lie at the bottom of our daily lives. The concept of Sleeping was conceived from the artist’s strong resonance with Levinas’ philosophical term, “il y a.” This French term meaning “there is” addresses the specific state of being that can be described as “the impersonal, anonymous but inextinguishable ‘consuming’ of being, which murmurs at the bottom of nothingness itself (...) one is exposed. All is opened upon us. Rather than to serve as our accession to being, the nocturnal space delivers us to being.”
Shizuka Yokomizo has explored photography’s complicated relationship to voyeurism most innovatively in her series Stranger. Yokomizo selected potential portrait subjects based on their residences—ground-floor apartments in Berlin, New York, London, and Tokyo—and then mailed anonymous letters asking the inhabitants whether they might stand in front of their apartment windows at a set time in the evening so that she could photograph them. The recipients of her letters were instructed to turn on all their lights, wear their typical clothes, and remain still; or, if they were unwilling to take part, to lower their blinds or draw their curtains. In this way, all those addressed knew that their apartments were being watched, and that they were interacting with a stalker of sorts. The appointed time always came in the evening, so that the subjects could discern the photographer only as a silhouette. Yokomizo promised to refrain from any exchange with her addressees: No knock on the door. No conversation. Only two complete strangers fully complicit in the act of photography.
Untitled /Hitorigoto, 2002, which can be roughly translated as “monologue” or “soliloquy,” depicts men and women of various nationalities seemingly lost in private moments of reflection. Often they are in dark interiors illuminated by the glow of artificial light sources, including a refrigerator and a bedside lamp. However, these moments are staged, and one’s suspension of disbelief is undercut by musings regarding the artifice required to construct the mood these images evoke.
※Hitorigoto独り言 means “talking to oneself”
Yokomizo’s work on video, which juxtaposes and projects scenes of four elderly ladies in Britain playing a Chopin waltz, and views of their rooms and gardens, reflects the cumulative time they have lived, and the persistence of time, ending and starting all over again, like a round in which the main melody disappears and reappears over and over. Through Chopin’s waltz—music that has been around longer than the ladies—Yokomizo urges the viewer to consider the ephemeral yet eternal nature of time.
artist statement ; What I tried to evoke by placing the contrasting footage of each lady’s dynamic performance, and scenes almost completely motionless, alongside each other, and repeating them, was transience and permanence, and most of all my own undeniable experience of time, as I stand before the screen.