Books have always been an important part of our artistic practice – in our independent as well as the collaborative projects.
The process of developing a project often gets clear when looking at the dummies. In some cases you already know how the book will look like while shooting the images. In that case you rather need a dummy but you might need to work hard on the concept of an exhibition. In other cases you are very sure about the whole concept of a book but you need to try several different forms of the book, develop the editing of the images, change decisions about size, paper or book-binding.
We often start projects with a Zine in a smaller edition of 105 copies. There we juxtapose images, develop the topics and very often understand the Zine as a part of a larger concept which could include a web-based project, an exhibition or a video.
We exhibited various forms of Japanese Lesson several times before, always changing, including for the most part a very fast projection of our own photographs we took in Japan over the last 11 years alternating with found footage like maps, historic photos or paintings, pop-culture-images, drawings, mangas or animes giving an insight into our growing and developing personal knowledge about Japan. The presentations also included framed photos of protestors and activists in recent history, different zines, edited by the audience, collections of toys, books by other artists from our own photobook library – every time a different selection or compilation.
Until now we could never decide to work on Japanese Lesson as a book. In this exhibition at CCCB in Barcelona you can follow the process of creation, understand our communication and collaboration, get and idea about what the book will be someday – including new works, images from older series or photographs we took in Japan since 2005. The video includes more than 700 images – our own photographs, historic photos, photos from newspapers, magazines, advertising, mangas, still-images from movies, drawings, paintings or photographs by artists, maps, street-views and much more.