Photographs by Kenji Hirasawa.
Bemojake, 2011. 72 pp., 42 color illustrations, 8½x11".
Both a documentary analysis and a conceptual deliberation, Celebrity is a visually exciting criticism on the social impact of idolisation and capricious desires. Who are these people we admire so much, what role do they play in our lives, and what absurdities do they evoke from us?
Photographing wax work models at Madame Tussauds of supposedly aspirational figures, Hirasawa presents us with social relationships both separated and intensified by these lifeless figures we call celebrities, ingeniously creating metaphors of themselves, as existential intimations which we can never actually be close to.
The images themselves are taken with a thermographic camera, recording heat emitted from visitors’ bodies, where the lifeless wax work models are barely seen... each pixel records specific temperature information. As one moves through the book, various emotions and interactions take place; humour, aggression, playfulness, regret and reverie...
A truly original and contemporary photography book which aims to delight as well as scrupulate.