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Daido Moriyama

Antipodes 3






‘Speaking of another country, from childhood my territory of interest has been my love for printed things: posters, billboards, film stills, screen prints, and illustrations. In school I remembered only photographs or textbook illustrations. This is how I have lived day after day, not only in the real world, but also and much more in the copied world…Indeed I cannot be sure if I really saw the landscape which I now carry inside myself as my proto-image or if I just saw it printed. I have often regarded copies, the already copied world, as fragments of reality that I then copied once more in my photographs. This is because the people printed in dots often appear to be more vivid and direct to me than the people standing in front of me’. 

– Daido Moriyama

Daido Moriyama's Polaroid Polaroid is both a portrait and a process revealing the material condition of photography. The repetition or doubling of the word, like a song title or refrain, underscores the emphatic way in which Moriyama has attempted to create a likeness of his own living and working environment, not as a photographic reflection of the world but rather as a photographic registration of the flows and frequencies of the world itself.

This single work consists of thousands of instant photographs taken continuously over three consecutive days. Each of the Polaroids that make up this installation is a flat representation of reality, and it is clear they have been grabbed from the world in a fraction of a second. Moriyama then arranges these fleeting fragments of reality as if for a musical score, rendering the world of objects, images, textures and surfaces as a vast rhythmical sequence in which motifs and phrases gather, repeat, attenuate and disperse. This compositional method is characteristic of Moriyama's interest in exaggerating the way in which photography can fragment our perception of reality, offering multiple points of entry rather than a fixed and unilateral point of view.

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