1. Unemployment reenactment by a samuraï of nowadays

    Performance, Tokyo, 2010

Restage Replay Reload

Research 2010-2011

credits

Photography
Sandy Amerio


Production
Research programm F for Real

(ESBANM)

it has been said

"Restage Replay Reload by Sandy Amerio is a poetic ode to the madness of historical reenactment via a Japanese reenactor who travels the world. Like Don Quixote and with the excessiveness of an Herzog character, the General fights tirelessly against the ghosts of World War II."
Marie Frampier in 02

In January 2010, the Nantes Fine Arts School recruited Sandy Amerio as artist-researcher in the group F for Real (consisting of Christiane Carlut, Oudart Philippe Benoit Broisat and Hirohisa Koike) to pursue personal research on Reality and Fiction concepts in contemporary art and cinema.

A trip to Japan, organized by the Nantes Fine Arts School, in partnership with two Japanese universities (the Gedai-Tokyo University for the Arts and Musashino University) was the obligatory departure point for the research.

Sandy Amerio oriented her research on reenactment. Reenactment is supposed to recreate a particular historical period or a military event. The historical basis is re-interpreted by reenactors who do not hesitate to invent plausible sketches and improvise around their knowledge. Spectators can attend the sessions, especially during large gatherings, but it is not a sine qua non condition for the practice. The phenomenon, as it is practiced today, began in 1960 with the American Civil War commemorations in the United States.

A decisive encounter in Tokyo with the famous reenactor Hiroki Nakazato will fed her imagination for nearly two years. The work done with Hiroki was the genesis of the film Dragooned, a project in which Hiroki didn't finally participate.



Hiroki Nakazato in Tokyo

Excerpt from Sandy Amerio's lecture Violent Pill

"Hiroki Nakazato alias Taïshô (Taïshô stands for Commander) was wearing an aviator jacket in the manner of Tom Cruise in Top Gun, gray threadbare velvet trousers and cowboy boots. Everything about him was intriguing.

When I met him in Tokyo for the first time, he proudly showed me a map of France drawn on the lining of his jacket that showed the cities he travelled through, specifying after my astonishment: " I'm just a reenactor."

He spends most of his time traveling the world to reconstitute famous historical episodes or participating in specific commemorations. A globereenactor specialized in WWII. "


At home

"When Hiroki invites me to his place to see his collection, I couldn't hardly find the entrance which was hidden by large coats from the Soviet army stored in garment bags. His apartment looks like a deposit, with hundreds of stacked boxes containing items for reenactments: French resistance, SS, American paratrooper, kamikaze, goumier, you name it. He has everything!"

"Everyone wants to embody a Wehrmacht soldier. We all want to play the bad guy." Hiroki said to me.

"The next day, I found him at work. He is a workman for a small private company, employment that allows him to indulge his passion and survive the rest of the time. He lives frugally, collecting coupons widely distributed in the streets of Tokyo, in order to save up for the cost of his next trip. Never mind, for him "life is beautiful".

He exchanges, buys, and sells uniforms on the Internet, all this by typing with one finger on the keyboard. This is his magic finger, he said. His index finger is permanently crooked, following two successive motorcycle accidents. The index finger is used to show the way and also to pull the trigger…

Looking at wall after wall, a pattern emerges in my mind. Imprecise at the beginning. His drill suddenly sounds like a submachine gun to me. While he works he tells me about his next reenactment. He guides me into his world, into which I fall in a unreal way."

PERFORMANCE IN TOKYO

Hiroki Nakazato makes his living by installing partitions. When I met him in Tokyo, he told me how the recent economic crisis had affected his activity. During the opening Double Vision at Tokyo Wonder Site in Tokyo, Taïsho wore a samuraï outfit and frightened the visitors by activating his drill while repeating in a threatening voice the sentence in Japanese: " for the last year, I had no working proposal, and I am well afraid that it lasts at least 200 years. " In this performance-portrait, Hiroki personal life joins collective History.

TO BE CONTINUED

Farby

NOT TO BE MISSED

Dragooned (video excerpt)

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