Daisuke Kosugi (b. 1984, Tokyo, Japan) lives and works in Oslo, Norway. Although video is his primary medium, his practice incorporates performance, text, sound and sculpture to produce work that focuses on dislocated subjectivity in a normalised social milieu. He often works closely with his family and other individuals, exploring ideas around belonging, empathy, gender, memory and the incommunicability of physical and mental pain, while considering the notion of real versus imaginary. Recent solo exhibitions include Jeu de Paume in Paris; CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux; Museo Amparo Puebla in Mexico; and Fotogalleriet in Oslo. Kosugi’s work has also been presented widely in Norway and in various international institutions including Centre Pompidou in Paris, Whitechapel Gallery in London, and Bonniers Konsthall in Stockholm.
All that goes before forget, 2021
Single channel video, 15 minutes
All that goes before forget is composed of fragmented stories from a young girl in post-war Norway, to a Japanese schoolgirl during WWII, to an androgyne person in their twenties in a contemporary domestic setting. While these three individuals belong to very different places and times, an indeterminate voiceover, interwoven between images might belong to one of the characters on screen, or all, or none. Scenes are depicted with close-up images, which bring with them a suggestion of significance, as if they were hinges to memories, but the overall narrative remains tantalisingly elusive. As the voiceover puts it, “Details of the periphery repeat themselves again and again, whilst the centre of the event takes place somewhere else.” This points also to the film’s title, which seems to offer two different possible interpretations: everything that occurs before forgetting, or, forget everything that came before. The title is taken from the opening sentence of Samuel Beckett’s short text, “Enough,” originally written in French in 1966 and translated by the author into English later the same year. Kosugi’s work often draws on his own family history, where research into his relatives’ lives is transformed via a combination of portraiture, documentary, choreography and fiction. All that goes before forget marks a new development of his work, moving deeper into fiction as a form for speculating about those events that might define a life, while simultaneously defying our ability to narrate them.
An installation photo from Daisuke Kosugi’s, All that goes before forget, 2021.
Photo: MOMETUM. Courtesy of the practitioner.
Still image from Daisuke Kosugi’s, All that goes before forget, 2021. Courtesy of the practicioner.