Text from the Kölnischer Kunsverein programme

The videotapes of the Japanese artist Akiko Hada (born 1961) fits into no particular style, and she is at home in many, totally different genres. Between 1979 and 89 she lived in England, where she worked with directors such as Derek Jarman and David Larcher, among others. At the moment she lives in Berlin.

Hada's tapes, be they music videos, animations or lyrical video narrations, have a high professional standard, whereby the execution of the themes is very individual and electronic effects are sparingly and precisely employed. The programme at the Kölnischer Kunstverein presents works in various genres from the last five years.

Ohi Ho Bang Bang: The Two is a music video, produced in collaboration with Holger Hiller. "Music video" is in fact a misleading label for it, for there is no music which one sees the image to. With footage of Holger Hiller and Karlbonnie, who produce sounds with instruments, objects and onomatopoeic singing, Hada and Hiller composed - in a method analogous to the music sampling - a new audio visual piece, in which the collaged sound and image fragments together form one unit.

In the same year 1988 James Bonk in Matt Blackfinger, a remake of the James Bond film "Goldfinger", was produced. The parody of the famous agent thriller is a production of The Japanese American Toy Theatre of London. The cast was recruited solely from a toy depot. 0017 James Bonk, for instance, is played by a small plastic Godzilla, his colleague 0016, who is murdered by being painted black, by a wind-up pear. The easy-to-recognise quotes from the original film have extremely funny effects. The artist has won several prizes with James Bonk.

Art Moderna Cha Cha Cha delivers the history of Modern Art as a sung interview. The singer Chantal Remion sits at the desk in front of her wall of books; she sings a litany of the famous artists of this century, to the solemnly nodding interviewer. Cutaways illustrate the names and the described works. The imitation art works include a Vincent van Gogh by the forger Tom Keating. The fact that the melody is in fact a bolero and not a cha cha cha does no harm to the humour of the tape.

The Fall of a Queen, or the Taste of the Fruit to Come was, like James Bonk and Art Moderna Cha Cha Cha, produced for the British Channel 4 Television. It is a video opera with improvised singing, accompanied by unusual music instruments. The narrative recounts the story of a Queen who goes out to mix with her people. Outside the castle walls she meets a dancer and a working girl who, in many different roles - as does the Queen - sing of their wishes and sorrows. The fear of a revolution eventually leads to an attempted assasination of the young Crown Prince. The piece was developed in Wolfsburg and Berlin and shot in London. The English text is based on the German original by Wolfgang Müller.

In contrast, The Leap (No Leap) reflects personal experiences following a crisis: dealing with problems that stems from the difficulties of coming to terms with being a grown-up woman. In the video the fear of sexuality and womanhood is thematised as the leap into the unknown depth.

Dr. Edith Decker-Philips, 1993.


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