Moko Fukuyama: American Recordings

When 15 Feb 2021 - 2 Apr 2021
Where The Kitchen
512 W 19th St
New York, NY 10011
United States

Act I: American Harvest
Act II: American Frequency
In Collaboration with Yo! Vinyl Richie

In Residence at Queenslab: February 15–27, 2021

Installation Viewing Hours at Queenslab, 1611 Cody Avenue, Ridgewood, NY: February 26–27, 2–7pm EST (Free with RSVP)

Online Film Premiere: Tuesday, March 30 and Friday, April 2, 7pm EDT

During a residency hosted by The Kitchen at Queenslab, Moko Fukuyama will produce two new pieces as part of her project American Recordings, an ongoing series that reflects on the state of public discourse within the United States today. While in residence, the artist will stage and film two performances featuring musical compositions by her collaborator Yo! Vinyl Richie. Visitors will be invited to view selections from the resulting footage displayed in corresponding installations in the Queenslab space on the 26th and 27th of February. Following the completion of the residency, the artist will create two films that combine scenes from the onsite performances with previously recorded material, which will premiere in an online screening event in mid-March.

Amidst the current, compounding crises of public health, politics, systemic racism, and the environment, the project asks: What forms of dialogue are possible in the face of heightened polarization and mandated social isolation? How does the potential for an exchange of perspectives vary across local, regional, and national levels? Fukuyama sets out to explore these questions in a quasi-documentary style, stemming from a series of trips she has conducted across the United States to speak with people she meets through her personal networks or by happenstance. American Recordings unfolds as a series of acts, each consisting of performances, installations, and films. At Queenslab, the artist will complete the initial sections—Act I: American Harvest and Act II: American Frequency.

Fukuyama’s approach to this endeavor is informed by her position as a Japanese citizen who has spent exactly half of her life to date in the United States. The first two acts ground the project in places that have shaped Fukuyama’s relationship to the country: Act I focuses on Iowa, the state where she first lived in the US as an exchange student, and Act II homes in on the city of Memphis, where she attended college and continues to visit regularly. Probing the boundaries between foreigner and citizen, visitor and resident, the artist examines how her experiences inform her ability to comment on or have conversations about the national landscape.

In American Recordings, Fukuyama fuses the real-world source material she has captured on her travels with imaginative elements in order to conjure up alternative models for discourse between individuals and among groups. The resulting films will weave together the personal perspectives of people Fukuyama interviewed on her trips, an autofictional monologue by the artist, and vignettes from her collaborative artistic processes at Queenslab. In contrast to the traditional discursive aims of articulating a straightforward ideological position or reconciling differences of opinion between subjects, these multi-layered portrayals present associative webs that hold disparate people, places, and ideas in relation to one another. American Recordings offers one response to the breakdown of dialogue that is so prevalent in the public sphere today: the project instead intentionally lingers in the spaces between divergent viewpoints, mining the interstices for their potential to generate more nuanced exchanges.

Curated by Alison Burstein.

Production Team
Act I: American Harvest  in collaboration with Yo! Vinyl Richie
Music composition by Yo! Vinyl Richie
Script written by Moko Fukuyama, Michael Mount, and Aaron Suggs
Animation, drone, and high-speed camera work by Haoyan of America
Performance production by Aaron Suggs, Andy Barrett, Nana Hiramatsu, and Joel Morrison
Act II: American Frequency  in collaboration with Yo! Vinyl Richie
Music composition by Yo! Vinyl Richie
Script written by Moko Fukuyama, Michael Mount, and Aaron Suggs
Second camera operated by Aaron Suggs
Special thanks to Keland Nance

For more information please click here.

Image courtesy of the event organizer.