Camille Breslin on Aki Sasamoto

Camille Breslin

Aki Sasamoto

            Aki Sasamoto’s lecture was interesting, interactive, and high in energy like a performance. Aki Sasamoto is a performance artist, sculptor, and videographer. Even though I exchanged words with ms. Sasamoto after her lecture, I still had the feeling that her artist lecture was more of a live performance. Her high energy, audience interaction, and general poise and presentation of her work were excellent. I did get lost at some parts of her presentation but regardless, I still thoroughly enjoyed what Ms. Sasamoto had to present and show.

Ms. Sasamoto drew out this absurd diagram explaining The Judge Mental and The Purpose of Life. She went on to explain the relationships between the different categories of society, the norms, the Tinkerbells or “Tinks”, and the odds. The norms are the 99.9% of the society. Ms. Sasamoto goes into talking bout the relationship between them and how the norms want to be like the tinks, but the tinks dislike the norms. And the Odds and the tinks do not like each other at all. The norms bully the odds and they are kind of hidden and ostracized by society in general. Aki Sasamoto goes into talking about the “A train” and how if you don’t get off at any of the particular stops and join the norms or the “happiness” stops, you will be doomed for the rest of eternity.

One piece that really stuck out of all the pieces was the performance piece called Skewed Lies. This piece in particular had to do with Ms. Sasamoto’s hate for mosquitoes. She went into elaborate detail about why she hated them, ways that she killed them for masochistic pleasure, and so on and so forth. Ms. Sasamoto compares to mosquitoes to masseuses and other characterized people in society, i.e. Granola eaters. She also goes into detail about how her piece is also about comedians and mosquitoes are very similar is certain attributes. In her photos and performance pictures that Ms. Sasamoto showed in her lectures had to do with Ms. Sasamoto being attracted to this giant illumined fixture that was supposed to represent and insect killer and how she wanted to get to the light. She became the mosquito to see if she could pass the “entrance exam”. She sucked water out of the extremely long straw and stuck it into the light fixture to create the zapping noise. But randomly in between her story about her the mosquito coincidences, petty crimes versus noble crimes. She talks about her brother and their distant relationship. Randomly in between her story, she adds excerpts about how he’s getting married and how he want to her come to Japan from New York and to be on her best behavior as well.

It was hard to follow this story, but it was the most interesting. I really couldn’t follow her lecture because of the sporadicness of her pieces. It’s not that they were disorganized but it’s the way that Aki Sasamoto works. Her pieces are all over the place but at the end somehow they come together to make sense. Even though she was lecturing on her live performance, the lecture became her performance and presentation. There wasn’t any structure or guidelines narrating what was happening, but she started to perform in front of the audience. It was interesting to see how she held herself and her dialect when telling the stories. Aki Sasamoto was a very interesting lecture to see but it was confusing and a little scattered at parts. Regardless, the audience was engaged and she presented her work in such a way where everyone became involved. It was excellent.


2 Responses

  1. This sounds like quite the artist lecture! I enjoyed reading about her views on societal structures and systems and her unique way of representing them (tinks, norms, odds). Ms. Sasamoto sounds hilarious and engaging, and an entire performing art piece dedicated to a hatred for mosquitos must have been quite entertaining to witness. The live performance aspect of the art world is the most fascinating for me personally, and it must have been enlightening to hear first hand accounts from such a renowned art figure.

  2. Camille,
    I really enjoyed reading your paper on Aki Sasamoto. It’s awesome that she was so energetic during her lecture. I vaguely remember you mentioning her lecture as a performance, so I’m glad I read this as a reminder. Good writing

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