Making Out in Japan

Janet Merewether

1996, 09:00 minutes, colour, English


A collaboration between performance artist Yuji Sone and film/video maker Janet Merewether, this short video, based around language lesson structure, intends to teach the language of Japanese intimacy in five easy steps. The sublety of love are humourously regimented into dry language drills. Open the heart for an electronic romance, and enter a world which is out of synch, as Japanese television and iconography are deconstructed to reveal an erotic subtext. Suppressed thoughts and desires are liberated as geishas and animated super heroes play out epic and banal tales of attraction. Women desire. The unspeakable is spoken. Taboos are broken. The electronic landscapes of Tokyo's television and neon signage contrast with the traditional, if not cliched images of the classical Japanese environment - carp, the Buddha, a paper house, fishmarkets. The oppositions continue. "Liberated" Western sexual values sit uneasily, their 'universality' questionable when imposed on a culture known for its love hotels and eccentric sexual desires.

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