Critical Writing Index

A sorrowful fish tale

by Sarah Milroy

The Globe and Mail, Dec. 3, 2004

In a departure from his earlier photo based work, Californian artist Allan Sekula presents a captivating video document of Japanese fish markets in Tsukiji. The Tsukiji market in Japan is described to be one of the most industrious in the world, and Sekula points his camera at the workers and the fish themselves, documenting their demise and the lonely or blank expressions of the workers. The work depicts the "last large scale human enterprise that still gathers wild food," a subject Sekula finds interesting for its ties to pre-modern cultures. However, as fishing becomes more and more of an industry, we see not only the death of the fish, but the death of the pre-industrial concept on which the Tsukiji fish market was founded on. The work was screened at vtape until January 15th.

ITEM 2004.116 – available for viewing in the Research Centre

Videos, Artworks and Artists Cited

TsukijiAllan Sekula

Black TideAllan Sekula

Geography Lesson: Canadian Notes, from 1986Allan Sekula

Waiting For Tear GasAllan Sekula

Fish StoryAllan Sekula