Shigeko Kubota Tribute: Broken Diary Series (1970-2015)

Video Girls and Video Songs for Navajo Sky (1972) | Broken Diary Series (1970-2015) | Shigeko Kubota (JP) | 31:56 min

Kubota narrates this surrealistic video diary of her month-long sojourn with a Navajo family on a reservation in Chinle, Arizona. She talks to the women as they cross the desert in a horse-drawn carriage to fetch water from the nearest well, and captures footage of tribal songs and dances, children’s pranks, and a local rodeo. Despite the language barrier between the Japanese Kubota and the English-speaking Native Americans, the artist befriends her subjects through sheer force of personality. Kubota relates to her subjects less like a documentary observer and more like a distant relative, with humor and affection.

Special Thanks: Cecilia Sandoval, Ruth Yazzie, Evon Shirley, Mary Lucier, Randy Feinstein, Pat Faust, Penny Schwartz, Geoffrey Leighton, Bobby Burns, Lance Wisniewski, John Trayna, Paul Doughorty, Danil Restuccio, Carl Geiger. Video Tape Editor: George Palmer. Thanks Also: Electronic Arts Intermix. WNET TV Lab. Post Production: Synapse of Syracuse University, Union at the Newhouse Communications Center, with Assistance from the College of Visual and Performing Arts, New York State Council on the Arts. My Love to Chinle, Arizona.




My Father (1973-75) | Broken Diary Series (1970-2015) | Shigeko Kubota (JP) | 15:30 min

“Father, why did you die?” With this deeply intimate statement of grief, Kubota mourns the death of her father. Video and television are central to her ritual of mourning, and allow her father to assume a presence after death. Kubota and her father, who was dying of cancer in Japan, are seen watching television together on New Year’s Eve. The suffering of father and daughter is rendered even more poignant when contrasted with the everyday banality of the pop music and New Year’s celebrations on TV. After his death, Kubota weeps alone in front of a video monitor. Awash with tears and personal pain, My Father is a cathartic exorcism of grief, with video serving as witness and memory.

A Videotape by Shigeko Kubota. Editors: John G. Trayna, Shigeko Kubota. Editing/Post-Production Facilities Provided by Electronic Arts Intermix, Inc. Electronic Arts Intermix is supported by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as private funds from the Rockefeller Foundation & individuals.




SoHo So Ap/Rain Damage (1985) | Broken Diary Series (1970-2015) | Shigeko Kubota (JP) | 08:25 min

This chapter of Kubota’s ongoing video journal chronicles the aftermath of a flood that destroyed Kubota and Nam June Paik‘s loft studio, after a roofer left work unfinished during a rainstorm. Kubota tells this story, and the ensuing struggles with their co-op, as a subjective, tragicomic documentary. On-screen text merges with Paik’s often incomprehensible running narration; images of the former editing studio are keyed into photos of the destruction. The emotional impact of the loss of the artists’ videotapes and equipment is felt throughout, as is the significance of water in Kubota’s art. As Kubota states, “It rains in my heart, it rains on my video art… Art imitates nature, nature imitates art.”

Camera: Paul Garrin. Editors: Paul Garrin, Shigeko Kubota.







16th - 18th May