Art Cinema OFFoff is thrilled to welcome back Makino Takashi. One of Japan’s most prolific and adventurous experimental filmmakers, Makino played together with Floris Vanhoof at our Night of the Experimental Film in 2013 to celebrate 10 Years OFFoff. Earlier that same year, we also showed work by him and his partner Rei Hayama. This time, Makino made a selection from his newest work, all shown for the first time in Belgium. After the screening, he checks in from Yokohama for an online Q&A!
“One of the few artists still earnestly committed to an ideal of grand spectacle, Makino Takashi crafts all-over abstractions that are uniquely overwhelming.” — Phil Coldiron
“Words feel woefully inadequate to describe Makino’s practice, where the abstract is drawn out of the real through the layering of images, flickers of light and the perpetual movement of dots and grains. Screen space is redefined with a flattened image surface that engulfs our peripheral vision and feels deeper the closer we focus our eyes.” — ICA London
Makino’s films incorporate layers upon layers upon layers of sound, image and light to create densely-textured, hypnotic works. After graduating from the Cinema Department at Nihon University College of Art, Makino Takashi (1978, Tokyo) studied music and lightning with the Quay brothers in Londen before moving back to Japan. Up to 2004, Makino solely worked on celluloid. After a hybrid period, he switched to a completely digital process since 2015. Today, Makino has released over 40 films, from his earliest 2002 short film Eve to his most-recent 2022 work Anti-Cosmos.
Makino’s work is renowned for its collaborative nature. His films are often soundtracked by a murderer’s row of avant garde composers that includes American experimental music titan Jim O’Rourke (Sonic Youth, Gastr Del Sol), Tara Jane O’Neil, Chris Corsano, Mats Gustafsson (Fire!), Rutger Zuydervelt (Machinefabriek) and Liz Harris (Grouper). This collaborative nature also reflects in Makino’s aim to create an ever-changing “third image” between his own projected images and those created within each viewer’s imagination.
We present the new digital remaster of Makino’s breakthrough, 8mm-to-video piece No is E in which particles of light dance on the water’s surface, moving like swarms of microorganisms that slowly try to cover the entire screen. No is E marks Makino’s first of many collaborations with none other than Jim O’Rourke who created the acoustic-noise-like music on guitar and many electronic devices.
For Axis of Aion, he teamed up with the Austrian video and audio artist Manuel Knapp whose imaginative monochrome line movements interact with the unique organic depth created by Makino by layering materials such as water and landscapes.
Filmed entirely on location in Australia, Double Phase collides image after image into a cascade of almost-cosmic complexity. Pushing back against the simplistic and monocular sensing of the world, Makino responds with an intensely affective projection of lived experience. The music by the great Australian composer Lawrence English rumbles and roars along with Makino’s images.
Makino made his own music for Microcosmos, a non-narrative experimental documentary with 100 of his collages. For his latest film, Anti-Cosmos, he joined forces again with Lawrence English. Together with the Norwegian musician Lasse Marhaug, they processed their field recordings into a deep and unnerving arrangement. The score, which was mainly produced in the range of frequencies below 1000hz, physcially vibrates the viewer’s body. Anti-cosmos refers to the power that breaks through the cosmic order.
Followed by an online Q&A with Makino Takashi!