Takashi Homma’s latest book The Narcissistic City, published by MACK, reveals the artist’s fascinating and renovated approach to cities and cityscapes, a recurrent subject of his ever-changing research.
The book is composed of images taken with a pinhole camera, which was placed in rooms and hotel rooms in the metropolitan areas of various cities in Japan and the USA.
Homma builds up his own city, photograph after photograph, by putting together and overlapping irregular and unclear views, repeatedly, in the camera obscura. Fragments of landscapes and architectures are turned into mysterious collages, from which ‘The Splintered City’, as the artist calls it, takes shape: sometimes in black and white, sometimes enriched by shiny colours, especially blues and reds. The silence is perceptible, there are no people, only buildings and solitary skyscrapers.
Conceiving the camera obscura as a suspended box where the city’s unconscious resides, Homma suggests the duplication of something that is well recognisable in our collective imagination, such as a parallel Hiroshima Peace Museum or another Empire State Building, but he transfigures it in a gloomy and vague duplication. Homma’s creation stitches together its own pieces, which function as a mirror to each other. In the end, The Narcissistic City is a city which stares at its own reflection.
Takashi Homma, The Narcissistic City 112 pp., € 55.00 MACK