KB01 KB02 KB03


Künstlerhaus Bethanien
Video Installation
Kanako Ishii‘s works are characterized by her engagement with meta-physical boundaries and apparent opposites such as past / present, memory / forgetting, presence / absence. Her current work, “Re-Landscape”, is a video installation projected onto three screens, opened by a sculptural prologue. In an encounter with texts by German philosopher Walter Benjamin, Ishii investigates the topic of childhood and related questions – such as remembrance, past-present-relations and the location of memory in visual perception.

Transforming the exhibition site into a lightless space, Ishii allows for her video projection to become the central visual object and invites the visitor to see it not merely as a screen, but also as a gate to personal and collective imaginary spaces. Her installation, comprising a multi-layered structure of painting, photography and video is the visualization of past impressions, becoming abstract and poetic at the same time. In the process of layering and carving out different dimensions of the image, Ishiis reflects on its very mediality and suggests, to consider images not only as visual surfaces but as sites of inwardness, intimacy and melancholy.

Focusing on the theme of childhood, “Re-Landscape” is not only a mediation on Ishiis own childhood in Germany and Japan, but can also be understood as a practical engagement in contemplating the mediality of the image itself; its double-relation to surface and depth, transparency and opacity. In this context, the emphasis in “Re-Landscape” is less on the display of concrete objects or motifs and far more on the image’s potential as a medium of remembrance and its function as a passage to the imaginary: rather than reverting to the representational, Ishii uses silence and delicate movements to reflect on how images evoke things past without simply reproducing or repeating them in the process. The “images of memory” that evolve here are dynamic constellations and dynamic zones of passage and transition, opening up our perception to a uncanny space of the remembered, the dreamt and the fantasized.