Book Section2022-09-20
The oeuvre of contemporary Japanese photographer Rinko Kawauchi is characterized by an approach that gives precedence to process over product and combines conceptual art with vernacular traditions, making her pictures happily imperfect. Starting with Kawauchi’s transmedial concept of the image, often positioned between word and image and mainly materialized through photo books, I propose that Kawauchi’s photographs are imperfect thanks to her experimentation with technical mistakes, the vernacular subject-matter of everyday snapshots, seriality, sequencing, and format variation, elliptical visibility, the aesthetics of color, and a non-linear temporality. Imperfection, furthermore, emphasizes the materiality of the medium, and removes photography from the referent-centered documentary domain by way of aesthetic, rather than semiotic, significance. Imperfection also activates different modes of reception, emphasizing emotional involvement and participant viewing.
Title
Rinko Kawauchi: Imperfect Photographs
Author(s)
Clara Masnatta
Identifier
Description
The oeuvre of contemporary Japanese photographer Rinko Kawauchi is characterized by an approach that gives precedence to process over product and combines conceptual art with vernacular traditions, making her pictures happily imperfect. Starting with Kawauchi’s transmedial concept of the image, often positioned between word and image and mainly materialized through photo books, I propose that Kawauchi’s photographs are imperfect thanks to her experimentation with technical mistakes, the vernacular subject-matter of everyday snapshots, seriality, sequencing, and format variation, elliptical visibility, the aesthetics of color, and a non-linear temporality. Imperfection, furthermore, emphasizes the materiality of the medium, and removes photography from the referent-centered documentary domain by way of aesthetic, rather than semiotic, significance. Imperfection also activates different modes of reception, emphasizing emotional involvement and participant viewing.
Is Part Of
Place
Berlin
Publisher
ICI Berlin Press
Date
20 September 2022
Subject
Photobooks
Vernacular photography
Art and photography
Photography, Artistic — Philosophy
Conceptual art
materiality
Chance in art
error
Senses and sensation in art
Transmediality
Imperfection
Kawauchi, Rinko
Photographic errors
Rights
© by the author(s)
Except for images or otherwise noted, this publication is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Language
en-GB
page start
141
page end
158
Source
Errans: Going Astray, Being Adrift, Coming to Nothing, ed. by Christoph F. E. Holzhey and Arnd Wedemeyer, Cultural Inquiry, 24 (Berlin: ICI Berlin Press, 2022), pp. 141–58
  • Albers, Josef, Interaction of Color (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2009)
  • Azoulay, Ariella, The Civil Contract of Photography (New York: Zone Books, 2008)
  • Barthes, Roland, ‘Shock Photos’, in Barthes, The Eiffel Tower and Other Mythologies, trans. Richard Howard (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997), pp. 71–73
  • Barthes, Roland, ‘Photos-chocs’, in Barthes, Mythologies (Paris: Seuil, 2005), pp. 98–100
  • Benjamin, Walter, ‘Kleine Geschichte der Photographie’, in Benjamin, Gesammelte Schriften, II: Aufsätze, Essays, Vorträge (1977), pp. 368–85
  • Benjamin, Walter, Gesammelte Schriften, ed. by Rolf Tiedemann and Hermann Schweppenhäuser, 7 vols (Frankfurt a.M.: Suhrkamp, 1972–91)
  • Benjamin, Walter, ‘Die Farbe vom Kinde aus betrachtet’, in Benjamin, Gesammelte Schriften, VI: Fragmente vermischten Inhalts. Autobiographische Schriften (1985), pp. 110–12
  • Benjamin, Walter, ‘Phantasie’, in Benjamin, Gesammelte Schriften, VI: Fragmente vermischten Inhalts. Autobiographische Schriften (1985), pp. 114–17
  • Cartier-Bresson, Henri, Images à la sauvette (Paris: Verve, 1952)
  • Cartier-Bresson, Henri, The Decisive Moment: Photographs by Henri Cartier-Bresson (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1952)
  • Zuromskis, Catherine, Snapshot Photography: The Lives of Images (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2013)
  • Cohen, Brianne, and Alexander Streitberger, eds, The Photofilmic: Entangled Images in Contemporary Art and Visual Culture, Lieven Gevaert Series, 21 (Leuven: Leuven University Press, 2016)
  • Freedberg, David, and Vittorio Gallese, ‘Motion, Emotion and Empathy in Esthetic Experience’, Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 11/5 (May 2007), pp. 197–203 <https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tics.2007.02.003>
  • Freund, Gisèle, La Photographie en France au dix-neuvième siècle. Essai de sociologie et d'esthétique (Paris: La Maison des Amis des Livres/A. Monnier, 1936)
  • Goto, Yumi, ‘Rinko Kawauchi’s Illuminance’, Time.com, 11 April 2011 <http://time.com/3776240/rinko-kawauchis-illuminance/> [accessed February 20, 2015]
  • Gumbrecht, Hans Ulrich, Our Broad Present: Time and Contemporary Culture, trans. by Henry Erik Butler (New York: Columbia University Press, 2014) <https://doi.org/10.7312/gumb16360>
  • Ishida, Tetsuro, ‘An Interview with Kawauchi Rinko: An Obsession with Time and Memory’, in Rinko Kawauchi, Illuminance, Ametsuchi, Seeing Shadow (Kyoto: Seigensha, 2012), pp. 125-128
  • Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von, Entwurf einer Farbenlehre, in Goethe, Sämtliche Werke nach Epochen seines Schaffens. Münchner Ausgabe, ed. by Karl Richter and others (Munich: Hanser, 1986–99), X: Die Farbenlehre, ed. by Peter Schmidt (1989), pp. 17–273
  • Kawauchi, Rinko, Hanabi (Tokyo: Ritorumoa, 2001)
  • Kawauchi, Rinko, Hanako (Tokyo: Ritoru Moa, 2001)
  • Kawauchi, Rinko, AILA (Tokyo: Little More, 2004)
  • Kawauchi, Rinko, The Eyes, the Ears: Photographs and Words (Tokyo: Foil, 2005)
  • Kawauchi, Rinko, Cui Cui (Tokyo: Foil; Arles; Actes Sud; Paris: Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain, 2005)
  • Kawauchi, Rinko, Semear (Tokyo: FOIL, 2007)
  • Kawauchi, Rinko, Approaching Whiteness (Tokyo: Goliga, 2013)
  • Kawauchi, Rinko, Sheets (Berlin: Kominek Books, 2013)
  • Kawauchi, Rinko, Ametsuchi (New York: Aperture, 2013)
  • Kawauchi, Rinko, The River Embraced Me (Tokyo: torch press, 2016)
  • Kawauchi, Rinko, and Masakazu Takei, Utatane (Tokyo: Ritorumoa, 2001)
  • Kawauchi, Rinko, and Terri Weifenbach, Gift (Tokyo: Amana, 2014)
  • Rautzenberg, Markus, ‘Was ist postmetaphysische Präsenztheorie?’, in Rautzenberg, Die Gegenwendigkeit der Störung. Aspekte einer postmetaphysischen Präsenztheorie (Zürich: Diaphanes, 2009), pp. 21–45
  • Rautzenberg, Markus, ‘Die Empfindung eines Objekts als Beobachtung ausgeben. Das Haiku als “Sprachfotografie” bei Roland Barthes und Andrej Tarkowskij’, Kodikas/Code. Ars Semeiotica, 37.3–4 (2014), pp. 349–60
  • Renger-Patzsch, Albert, Die Welt ist schön (Munich: Einhorn-Verlag, 1928)
  • Sholis, Brian, ‘Interview with Hans Gremmen, Designer of Rinko Kawauchi’s Ametsuchi’, publisher’s website <http://www.aperture.org/blog/interview-with-hans-gremmen/> [accessed 10 March 2015]