コメント Review/Commentary

Review/Commentary/Press on Misako Oba’s [FAUSTUS].

Best of June 2015 on  Josef Chladek’s photo books website.

Misako Oba’s [FAUSTUS] was among those photo books.
The authors of those photo books are: Dávila, Kojima, Sanai, Arnold, Scheurwater, Bitesnich, Kitajima, Pedan, Murakami, Georgiou, Oba, Leiter, Koublis, Blanch.

Best of June 2015 on josef chladek photobooks.

Best of June 2015 on josef chladek photobooks.

For more details of Best of June 2015 and to see the sample pages of those books, you can visit their website.

Best of June 2015

(By Gary Edwards) >> English

「大庭みさこは、日本やニューヨークでテレビ局アナウンサーとしてのキャリアを去った後、私生活でのいくつかの苦難に続いて、その後ニューヨークに移る機会を得、写真作家・アーティストとして新たにスタートを切った。初期の作品シリーズ「El Camino」や「Fireflies」
は、東京やパリ、ニューヨーク等の都市を、神秘的かつ抽象味を帯びた独特な解釈で表現し、それらが写真界で重要な関心を集め始めていた2006 年、彼女はまた新たな悲劇̶に直面する。右手小指がAVM(動静脈奇形)という稀な自然出血症状に見舞われた。日本に家族を残したまま、米国での度重なる医療処置と最終的な小指切除手術の決断に迫られる中、大庭の「FAUSTUS」シリーズは、一見私的なものに見えるが、勇気を持って恐怖と「喪失」に向き合い、人間として誰にでも起こりうるもっとも基本的な物語を探求した普遍的なドラマである。(略)彼女が並外れた能力と勇気を持った芸術家でなければ、このトラウマは単に本人や親しい友人・家族の内だけにとどまっていただろう。私は大庭のアート全てが、ある意味、一握りのアーティストだけが持っている、自分の感情や魂の状態を鋭く洞察する力を反映していると信じている。」
大庭みさこ写真集『FAUSTUS』あとがき –
イリー・エドワーズ より一部抜粋


ゲイリー・エドワーズ(写真画廊ディレクター Gallery director)

(By Kotaro Iizawa) >> English

「19 世紀に写真術が出現して以来、それまでは主に画家たちが試みてきたセルフポートレートを、写真家たちが積極的に試みるようになった。画家たちがいわば求心的に“ 唯一の自己”を探し求めていくのに対して、写真家たちは自己をまず多次元的に分裂・解体しようとする。時間の経過とともに変容していく自分の姿を、理想化することなくそのまま受け入れ、写真に定着していくこともある。大庭みさこの「FAUSTUS」シリーズも、そんな写真家たちによるセルフポートレートの実験の系譜に連なるものといえるだろう。(略)

小指からの異常な出血をきっかけにして、彼女は「怒りと悲しみ、困惑、葛藤、絶望、さらには、受容と希望、歓び」といった段階を、次々に経験していく。その間に、自分の血で描かれたドローイングや、震える文字で記された手記なども挟み込まれる。(略) こうしてその一連の経過を記録した画像を目にすると、彼女の肉体的な痛みや精神的な動揺が、決して他人事ではないように思えてくる。多かれ少なかれ、われわれの人生においても、同じような事態に陥るのは充分にあり得ることだ。大庭は、彼女の経験した痛苦や希望をセルフポートレートの形で提示することで、それを個人的な出来事として孤立させるのではなく、より開かれた普遍的な物語として共有することをめざしているように思える。その試みは見事に成功しているのではないだろうか。」
飯沢 耕太郎(写真評論家)より一部抜粋
(By Kotaro Iizawa)

飯沢 耕太郎(写真評論家 Photography critic)

 >> Japanese 日本語

“After Misako Oba left a successful career as a broadcaster for Japanese television in Japan and New York, following some personal hardships in Japan, she moved to New York and began anew as a photographic artist. Oba’s early work, in the series “El Camino” and “Fireflies,” showed idiosyncratic interpretations in a mysterious and partly abstract manner of such cities as Tokyo, Paris, Brussels, and New York. The work was just gaining critical interest when her progress was interrupted by a new personal tragedy in 2006—the discovery that she had the very rare medical condition A.V.M. (Arterio-Venous Malformation) in the pinkie of her right hand. Heavy spontaneous bleeding and several failed medical procedures lead to the dreaded decision to undergo an amputation in the U.S. without the presence of her family, who were in Japan.

Her project FAUSTUS, dealing with this personal struggle to come to an understanding and acceptance of a rare medical condition that struck her unexpectedly, clearly shows her power of turning these horrific events into a stunning art project of universal application. This work is personal but universal, a drama exploring the most basic of human tales—facing fear and “loss” with courage. Had she not been an artist of exceptional ability and courage, this trauma would have remained known only to herself and circle of close friends and family. Instead it stands as a visible monument to a human spiritual journey, an X-ray of a young woman’s soul. I believe that all of her art reflects, to a degree few artists can match, a clear-eyed appraisal of the conditions of her emotions and her soul. Her work is uniquely passionate and engaging.

The self-portraits work might be compared to Francesca Woodman’s and Cindy Sherman’s quest for an alternate identity. In Oba’s case, one sees the perseverance of a loving spirit, and a validation of the eternal beauty of the female persona. [……]”

Quote from Afterword of [FAUSTUS] by Gary Edwards,
Gary Edwards Gallery
Washington, DC

Gallery Director Gary Edwards

 >> Japanese 日本語

“Since photography appeared in the 19th century, photographers began actively attempting to make self-portraits, which before this period, was mainly the purview of painters. However, I believe that the way photographers make self-portraits is somehow different from the ones that painters make. Painters tend to seek and explore a “unique-self” centripetally, so to speak. On the other hand, artists using photography usually strive to separate and break themselves down at each stage in multi-dimensions at first, and as time goes by, they would accept the transformation
of themselves as the way it is, and record them in photography without idealization.

It can be said that Misako Oba’s photographic series FAUSTUS is also descended from the shared ancestry of the experiment of self-portraits by such artists. […..]

In the wake of the abnormal bleeding from her little finger, she experienced one after another, the stages of ‘fear, sadness, anger, confusion, conflict, despair, and even acceptance, hope, and joy.’

What is unique about her FAUSTUS project is that she continued photographing scrupulously over time the large physical shift, as well as the mental and emotional
fluctuations. In the meantime, she also photographed the drawings made with her own fresh blood, and the notes with trembling characters written by her shaking hand.[…..]  by viewing those images that were recorded over the course of the process, I came to feel her physical pain and emotional shakes. This is a shared solidarity with the personal, unique points of others. More or less, it would be quite possible for us to fall into a similar situation in our lives.

By presenting her story in the form of a self-portrait, Oba seems to be attempting to share her experiences, such as agony and hope, as a more openly universal story, instead of making it an isolated personal incident. Her attempt seems to be admirably successful.”
Some quotes from commentary titled
Sharing of Agony and Hope,
by Kotaro Iizawa (Photography critic) on Misako Oba’s [FAUSTUS]

Photo Critic Kotaro Iizawa