Tomomi Adachi & Takahiko Iimura

Conversations at the Edge

The Gene Siskel Film Center
164 North State Street
Chicago, Illinois 60601

In a rare joint appearance, filmmaking luminary Takahiko Iimura and Tokyo-based sound artist Tomomi Adachi present an evening of films and performances. Since the early 1960s, Iimura has been renowned for his groundbreaking films and videos, ranging from surreal underground narratives to elegant explorations of time and perception, many produced with performance artists and avant-garde composers. Adachi has garnered similar acclaim for his work with voice, electronics and self-made instruments. The two will present four of Iimura’s early films, a selection of Adachi’s sound works, including the first performance of Introduce Yourself, Please! and the Chicago premiere of the ten-voice Minna no Uta (Song for Everyone), and a new collaboration for film, voice and electronics.

Tonight’s program includes Iimura’s works Junk (1962), Love (1963), Onan (1963) and Flowers (1968-69) with music by Takehisa Kosugi, Yoko Ono, Yasunao Tone and Adachi. Together, Iimura and Adachi perform with White Calligraphy, Iimura’s 1967 film of Japanese characters copied from the 8th century text Kojiki and scratched directly onto black leader. Here, the filmmaker manipulates the projection while Adachi improvises with voice and electronics. Adachi also will perform sound poetry works and improvise with his self-made instruments. In Minna no Uta (Song for Everyone), a DJ sends sounds from a turntable to headphones worn by ten voice performers, who imitate what they hear. The audience cannot hear the original turntable sounds.

Tomomi Adachi (b.1972, Kanazawa, Japan) is a performer, composer, sound poet, installation artist and theater director, working in voice, live electronics and self-made instruments. He founded the punk-style choir Adachi Tomomi Royal Chorus in 1997 and the Ensemble for Experimental Music and Theater in 2011. Adachi has collaborated with numerous sound artists, dancers and theater troupes and has presented works around the world, including at the Tate Modern, London; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; ZKM, Karlsruhe; Museum of Art Osaka; La Mama Theatre Melbourne; among others. He lives in Tokyo and Berlin.

Adachi last appeared at Lampo in April 2010, in his Chicago debut. He performed his own text-sound compositions and work from a collection of historical Japanese sound poetry—seldom heard material by Hide Kinoshita from 1924, and Seiichi Niikuni from the 1960s and 70s. He also performed Voice and Infrared Sensor Shirt, and improvised with the Tomoring II, made of springs and metal wire, and the Tomomin II, one of his Tupperware instruments.

Takahiko Iimura (b.1937, Tokyo, Japan) is a pioneering figure in the world of experimental and underground cinema in the United States and Japan. He began making films in Tokyo in the early 1960s and played an important role in establishing a number of the city’s seminal film collectives and screening series. Iimura moved to the United States in 1966, where he became a fixture of New York’s experimental film scene. His works span film, video and computer art and have been exhibited widely, including at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; and the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo; among many others. He divides his time between New York and Tokyo.

Presented in partnership with Conversations at the Edge; organized in cooperation with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Department of Sound