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Tomoko Daido

(Obama, Japan, 1976)

Tomoko Daido describes herself principally as a photographer, rejecting the label “artist”. Her practice is based on a social vocation, as she eschews the self-referential and often egocentric idea found in photographic practice today. Making this distinction, she goes on to identify the main material she works with: memory. Her project Murmur evokes images of places that have become engraved on the collective memory, not so much of her host country, the United States, or her country of origin, Japan, but that memory that has marked generations throughout the Western world. Impressive images that we have seen on the screen: Chernobyl; the fall of the Berlin Wall; the break-up of the Soviet Union and the subsequent war in the Balkans; and the question of how it is possible that something like this could happen again in Europe.

So, Tomoko Daido works with the collective memory and searches for remains on the ground —in an archaeology of what remains hidden to the naked eye— like someone determined to verify at first hand that the images which are engraved in his memory really belong to a real place and to real events. However, what she photographs cannot be situated in a specific time or place; her images evade history. Rather, she photographs those places that seem charged, dense, heavy, impregnated with the very memory of what once happened and has been trying to heal for a long time.