A FALSE WEIGHT
Still from A False Weight, courtesy of the artist
Set to premiere in Scandinavia at Fotogalleriet this fall, A False Weight is a new experimental production that shows an interplay between Masanori Kosugi (1951), and Toru Iwashita (1957). In the fall of 2017, Masanori is diagnosed with an unusual and incurable brain disease. The illness affects the body’s movement and balance before eventually inhibiting speech, cognition and mobility. As a construction engineer, Masanori lived by rational and constructive ideas which he also implemented on his body in the form of body-building. As the symptoms continue to develop, Masanori tries to fight the disease with rehabilitation and through use of prostheses.
Toru Iwashita, a Butoh dancer, performs Masanori’s daily routines in a repetitive pattern. What at first glance is perceived as a depiction of a normal retirement, becomes the backdrop in the portrait of a syndrome. The dance conveys the loss of control over one’s own body. Throughout the production, Masanori Kosugi worked with Toru on details of his movements, and how the body feels in scenarios that are portrayed in the work.
Recorded in Tokyo, A False Weight looks for traces of authoritarian control over the body. In keeping with Kosugi’s artistic practice, the film is not a traditional documentary; there is no search for “truth”; but rather an investigation of the inadequacy we feel in language and bodily expression, due to societal superimpositions related to success and immortality. It hints towards a need of entering other realities and the realm of the unknown.
Kosugi’s work has received international acclaim, most notably for his contributions to the 2017 Lofoten International Art Festival and the 11th Gwangju Biennale. The artist aims to create works where the audience internalizes the stories of others, avoiding the use of mainstream, cinematic techniques that raise immediate sympathy with the protagonists as this would render the spectator inactive. His films often incorporate Brechtian theatre methods aiming at “real subjectivity”, which can only be achieved by dispelling the audience’s imagination through the creation of distance from emotional involvement, leading to a deeper access to the issues developed in the audio-visual form.
Daisuke Kosugi tends to draw from multiple disciplines to construct his tension-filled narratives that veer between systematic oppression and personal freedom. At Fotogalleriet’s exhibition space, Kosugi’s film A False Weight will be presented with sculptural elements: a number of newly commissioned bamboo sculptures will further investigate the “deconstruction” of the straight line spatially; the bending method reports traces of burning, in addition to metallic junctures, which provide a mirroring effect on the themes of body structures explored in the film.
Daisuke Kosugi is a Norwegian artist, born in Tokyo in 1984. Alongside his artistic practice he is the co-founder of the Oslo artist-run-initiative Louise Dany (with Ina Hagen). Since graduating from the Oslo National Academy of the Arts in 2014, Kosugi has widely exhibited throughout Norway, including Coast Contemporary, Kunstnerforbundet, Akershus Kunstsenter, LIAF (Lofoten International Art Festival), The Norwegian Sculpture Biennial, Atelier Nord ANX, Bergen International Film Festival and The Norwegian Short Film Festival in Grimstad. His work has been included in group exhibitions at the Gwangju Biennale, CPH:DOX, Malmö Konsthall and Centre Pompidou. Upcoming solo exhibitions will be on view at Jeu de Paume (Paris), CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux (Bordeaux) and Amparo Museum in Mexico. Kosugi has been an artist-in-residence at Cité Internationale des Arts (Paris), WIELS Contemporary Art Centre (Brussels), BAR project (Barcelona) and quartier21 Museums Quartier (Vienna) amongst others.
Fotogalleriet is grateful for its continued support from The Arts Council Norway, as well as the Norwegian Photographic Fund (Nofofo) and Oslo Municipality. It is also indebted to The Royal Norwegian Ministry of Culture for their exhibition honorarium program. The extended exhibition programs are made possible through additional, generous grants by Fritt Ord Foundation, Oslo, and the Norwegian Photographic Fund. Fotogalleriet would also like to thank international art center Jeu de Paume Paris, who will be showing A False Weight in parallell to the exhibition in Oslo. More information about Daisuke Kosugi’s show at Jeu de Paume can be found here.