Akeroyd Collection


Sasaoka Yuriko, Body Building in the Water, 2012-2013

One of Sasaoka Yuriko’s earliest video works, Body Building in the Water (2012-13) sees the artist’s face superimposed onto a marionette, submerged in water. Controlled by wires, her body jolts in the strange, submerged gravity. Her face, however, remains free to express emotion and move at will. Standing amongst detritus of a party, and a range of decorative plants, her party dress floats around whimsically. A song that Yuriko composed and performed herself sings of a love, either lost, yet to come, or perhaps unrequited. It is at turns sombre and quizzically joyful. Tropes of cinema are evident. She stands, for example, in front of green stage sets, typical of green screen work in cinema that enables the superimposition of other visual media. Here, however, it remains a non-functioning prop and signifier to the construction of the work. In the background, we see an animated owl, referred to in the song. Periodically, two potential suiters arrive in front of the artist. They are also marionettes with the superimposed face of the artist, adorned with masculine make-up, dressed as boxers, replete with shorts, boots and protective headgear. Performing all characters in the scene, the boxers spar with each other under the gaze of the female. They inflict increasing damage as the song continues. This early work is a comment on the self, and how it is represented in cinematic media. It is personal but it also critiques ideas of masculinity and femininity in the way that it depicts the power dynamics at play when matters of the heart intersect with social convention.

MediumSingle-channel video with colour and sound
Duration3 minutes 57 seconds
EditionEdition of 10