courtesy: Galerie Georges-Philippe & Nathalie Vallois, Paris, and Take Ninagawa, Tokyo, Exhibition view of Taro Izumi, “Pan,” Palais de Tokyo, 2017 supported by SAM Art Projects. photo: Aurelien Mole


ArtistIZUMI Taro
Material/ Technique2 videos
Size/ Durationdimensions variable
Copyright Notice© IZUMI Taro
Year of acquisition/ donation2018
DescriptionBorn in Nara, Japan in 1976. Lives and works in Tokyo.

Through his video installations, Izumi Taro repeatedly poses questions about the way we perceive the world through video, or the relationship between video and humans. By interweaving his own fascination with the human body and language and capturing on film seemingly meaningless acts and phenomena, he brings into focus the absurd experiences that lay hidden in the everyday. Messing with such conventional distinctions as time and space, real images and virtual images, inside and outside, free and unfree, Izumi produces works that reflect his peculiar sense of humor and acute critical mind.

"30" is a video installation in which footage of a boy and footage showing a group of adults and dogs are installed in separate spaces, with the boy and the adults imitating wolf cries to call out to each other. By creating a situation in which several dogs show no reaction at all to the howling of wolves while humans call to each other not in human language but by imitating the language of animals, Izumi is posing questions around the nature of language and of mutual understanding with others. At first sight, the howling of the boy and adults could be interpreted as a conversation of some kind, but we cannot ascertain whether there is any mutual understanding between the humans or between the humans and the animals. The howling emanating from the separate spaces penetrates the entire exhibition space, so that people are able to recognize the characteristics of the spaces as they move from one to the other in response to the cries while getting a sense of the work before they are able to see it. In today’s society, where engaging in conversations without speaking when communicating with others in different spaces via social media has become a matter of course, this work focuses anew on what it means to communicate.