Created in collaboration with hypnotist and researcher Urushihara Masataka, this online performance is a work in which people from all over the world can participate. Viewers are required to prepare a space in a particular way and then deliver a performance in accordance to instructions issued by Koizumi, such as, “Look at your face in the mirror.” Through the performance, it is expected that viewers will be able to test whether they become hypnotized. Koizumi himself experienced Urushihara's hypnosis and, through discussions with him, came to understand that the state of hypnosis was akin to a software "bug" in our consciousness.
Positioned as “a hypnosis experiment about freedom,” it addresses present-day people, who are currently subject to physical restrictions, and attempts to liberate us just slightly from our rigid views of the world and of the human condition. Against the backdrop of Japan's coronavirus response, in which exercising self-restraint has become a part of everyday life, the work encourages consideration of human spiritual freedom or the contradiction inherent in this imposed state of "freedom" and also of the role of language within the mechanism of human cognition.
In addition, it comprises more than just its sound component, also encompassing the very consciousness of its viewers. Hopefully it gives viewers the chance to become aware of the potential of the medium that is their consciousness. (K.K.)
*There is a possibility that viewers of this work will become hypnotized. We ask that you view it at your own risk.
Hypnosis, advice, and experiment design
Voice for the English version
Courtesy: Annet Gelink Gallery (Amsterdam) & MUJIN-TO Production (Tokyo)
Born in Gunma Prefecture in 1976. Resides in Kanagawa Prefecture. Containing acute social commentary on the relationship between the individual and their community or state, Koizumi’s video art has addressed such topics as the memory or trauma from wars or major earthquakes, the Imperial family and society’s hidden pockets of darkness or madness. His works often explore the mechanisms by which violence or self-sacrifice emerge, or the connections between the physical and emotional. Using interviews to directly present the emotions of real people, his work blurs the boundaries between fiction and reality. In recent years, his means of expression has expanded to encompass sound and virtual reality.
Major exhibitions and festivals include “Theatre Commons ’21” (Tokyo, 2021), “Aichi Triennale 2019” (Aichi, 2019), “Shanghai Biennale 2018” (Shanghai, 2018), “Trapped Voice Would Dream of Silence,” (solo exhibition–Arts Maebashi, Gunma, 2015), “Project Series 99: Meiro Koizumi” (solo exhibition–Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2013).