In the video installation Housesitting, tension between the domestic and the wild appeared in the guise of house pets.

The following text is taken from Front Magazine, vol. VIII, no. 1, p. 8, September/October 1996:

In Yoko Takashima’s previous work there has been a focus on the body and minute rituals of personal grooming. In this new video installation Housesitting, tension between the domestic and the wild appears in the guise of house pets. A sound scape creating a domestic-industrial atmosphere envelops large scale video projections of a cat and a dog, appearing disturbingly human in their “facial expressions”.

Takashima has a humourous and formally innovative way of dealing with video installation and projection. She employs computer-aided video editing to subtle yet evocative effect. Cyclical repetition and the distortion of scale create a “foreigness” which makes the ordinary seem strange or dislocated. The gestures of a hand, tooth brushing, hair combing, or the face of a pet take on new significance. The darkened gallery and rhythmic image encourage a contemplative, almost hypnotic, attention.

Originally from Japan, Takashima is now based in Victoria, she has shown her video installations across Canada and the US. This show at the Western Front runs concurrently with the exhibition Topographies, a show of recent BC art at the Vancouver Art Gallery, where Takashima’s work can also be seen.