Minneapolis Institute of Art To Present Meiro Koizumi’s ‘Battlelands’

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December 19, 2018 — This January, the Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia) will present the U.S. premiere of a new version of Battlelands, a film by artist Meiro Koizumi (born 1976, Gunma, Japan). The 58-minute single-channel film installation will be on view January 26 to April 28, 2019.

Working with non-Japanese subjects for the first time, Koizumi engages U.S. veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars in Battlelands. Seven veterans—wearing body cameras that record images of their current domestic spaces and everyday landscapes in the United States—recount the traumatic experiences they faced during these military conflicts. For the artist, the medium of video is best suited to articulating these veterans’ complex inner lives, as it can, in his words, “represent the complexity of multi-layered physiological states in tangible form.” The result is a film that imbues seemingly mundane routines with underlying tension, articulating how traumatic memories of war seep into the daily lives of these individuals, creating emotional and psychological battlegrounds.

Originally commissioned by the Pérez Art Museum Miami, this updated version of Battlelands includes additional interviewees and examines elements of the Fourth of July, touching on how fireworks can trigger Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

“The perspective of the body-cam in Battlelands gives the viewer a very intimate, first-person glimpse of how trauma can dramatically alter even the most prosaic tasks of day-to-day life,” said Gabriel Ritter, curator and head of the Department of Contemporary Art at Mia. “The effect is immersive and unrelenting, giving the viewer no choice but to put themselves in the veteran’s shoes. As such, Koizumi’s film powerfully recasts the stereotypical image of the heroic soldier often found in popular culture into an infinitely more disarming, vulnerable portrait of a civilian living with past horrors.”

Accompanying exhibition programming includes an artist talk at 2 p.m. on Sunday, January 27, 2019. Tickets are $10; $5 for My Mia members, and free for members of the Photography & New Media and Contemporary Art Affinity Groups. For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.

About Meiro Koizumi
Meiro Koizumi was born in Gunma, Japan, in 1976, and works in Yokohama, Japan. He studied at the International Christian University, Tokyo; Chelsea College of Art and Design, London; and the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam. Recent solo exhibitions include those at White Rainbow, London (2018), Pérez Art Museum Miami (2018), Annet Gelink Gallery (2017), De Hallen, Haarlem (2016), Arts Maebashi, Maebashi (2015), Kadist Art Foundation, Paris (2014), Museum of Modern Art, New York (2013), Centro de Arte de Caja de Burgos (CAB), Burgos (2012), Art Space, Sydney (2011), and the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2009). He has participated in numerous group shows, such as the Experimenta’s 5th International Biennial of Media Art, Melbourne (2014), 8th Shenzhen Sculpture Biennale, Shenzen (2014), Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery, Tokyo (2014), MSGSU Tophane-i Amire Culture and Arts Center, Istanbul (2013), Pinchuk Art Centre, Kiev (2012), Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (2011), Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (2011), Liverpool Biennial, Liverpool (2010), Media City, Seoul (2010), and Shanghai MOCA, Shanghai (2008).

His works are included in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Kadist Art Foundation, Paris; and the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterd.