Try to go, over there
A photography project
120 film (6x7)
Mikito Tanaka, a Kyoto-based photographer, started his project Try To Go Over There in 2003. The project presents 28 works which are ironic and touching at the same time. They are fueled by visually futuristic and constructivist allusions conceived by the artist, with a lasting impression remaining anchored in humor.
The psychological discoveries and anticipations of the artist are realized in dangerous situations. Tanaka inserts a human figure, which we later find to be himself, into places where a human being is not allowed or meant to be. A unique proof of his endeavor is captured on 120 mm film.
Most strikingly, Tanaka performs all the dangerous actions depicted by himself. In one instance he stands in a provocative pose on an iron bridge or on a ferry’s wheel 15 m above the surface, in another he seems to be flying over the monochrome water or hovering in the space of a huge iron lozenge construction. In order to capture the image he envisions, he jumps into the water time and time again, getting drenched in the process, all to realise his vision. Despite this methodical and precise execution, there remains a deliberate touch of amusement and comedy within his work.
Tanaka is not just bringing the idea of masculinity to audacious visibility, but most importantly challenging physical and psychological limitations. In a way, the artist breaks social constraints, whilst also relishing his almost cinematic gambits, which grant him a single glorious moment of total freedom - a flight away from everyday life.
After taking an analogue photo, Tanaka removes the details, which he considers to be nonessential, and reduces the complexities of nature to their basic underlying geometrical forms in order to highlight the economy of line and aesthetic austerity. By solely maintaining the fundamental aspects and forms of the objects which make up the image, Tanaka is able to give weight and value to a minimalistic approach to landscape architecture.
Architecture plays a very important role in his landscapes. Tanaka cynically mirrors the meaning and purpose of technical constructions and objects and their reflection in previous styles of art. He plays with the patterns of essential perceptions of architecture, from a celestial dome in the Bush Barrow Lozenge to modern photography, which has praised the victory of man over nature.
The subjective experience of passing through Tanaka’s landscapes resonates in the viewer and effectively invites him or her to join in the artist’s romantic-objective reflections on our contemporary relationship to nature and society.