On Eye Rape

Rental Format(s): 16mm film

The original film was rescued from a Tokyo trash bin. It is an American sexual education film in which plant and animal sex are explained. I, together with an artist friend, Natsuyuki Nakanishi, punched big holes in almost all of the frames. It was a protest against Japanese censorship of explicit images of sex, particularly pubic hair which the censors would cover with black marks. I inserted a few subliminal frames of pornographic imagery from magazines several times throughout the film. At the end, I even punched holes in these subliminal pictures, thereby 'censoring' the censored image.

"Moving beyond JUNK, which itself was already in response to, or an effort to surpass the much-appreciated 'Junk Art,' Iimura endeavoured to continue his investigation into the waste object. Here, he uses the remains of educational films, which treat the birth of zebras and insects, or the growth of plants. He edited this found footage, and then pierced the film with holes. The original images are 'hidden' from view by large splashes of light, which appear so violent to the spectator that Iimura named this work ON EYE RAPE. Indeed, he also intercut the original footage with single images culled from pornographic movies, which were then banned in Japan. This subliminal technique serves a quintessentially 'suggestive' and structural cinema. In that, it has affinities with the work of Paul Sharits, who also includes erotic single images in his films, WORD MOVIE (1966), N:O:T:H:I:N:G (1968), and above all T,O,U,C,H,I,N,G (1968), in order to gratify the phenomenon of retinal persistence."
- Christopher Charles, Les Arts de l'image dans le Japon contemporain: Iimura Takahiko, in Takahiko Iimura film et vidèo, 1999.

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16mm film $40.00  

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