They are everywhere in Tokyo: security guards at construction sites. Come rain or shine, they are always there. Their perseverance is as absurd as it is admirable.
The age of teinen, the Japanese word for retirement, is 62. However, retiring in Japan does not mean the same thing as in Europe. Teinen marks the end of ‘lifetime employment’ but not a complete withdrawal from the labour force. This transitional arrangement is designed to free up jobs for younger workers.
What’s more, if you have spent your entire career working six days a week and most of your social life has revolved around work, retirement is akin to social isolation.
Visualising a small, everyday subject that examines a larger phenomenon is an approach that Simone Mudde and Olivier van Breugel have previously applied to projects such as McHotel (2012) and Between Screens (2014). Mono Men (2016) is a series of monumental videos about endlessness and boredom. The dedication with which the guards perform their monotonous work raises questions about the meaning and perception of time.
Exhibition Mono Men
Mono Men – Guardians of Time is a series of monumental videos about endlessness, boredom and dedication.
A two screen preview of the multiscreen Mono Men video installation was presented at the international photo festival BredaPhoto (NL) in October 2016. During Art Rotterdam 2017, Mono Men will be part of the group exhibition Concepts & Prospects, curated by Noor Mertens (curator contemporary art at Museum Boijmans van Beuningen Rotterdam).
Paradox is proud to present…
Mono Men, The Last Water War and Time for change21 August 2016
We are proud to present three new projects: Mono Men, The Last Water War and Time for change. In the course of 2016 and 2016, we'll be working on multiple ways to present these projects: by app, exhibition and website.Read more