© YAMAMOTO Yoshihiro

15th Art Division Grand Prize

plain voices

Video work

YAMAMOTO Yoshihiro [Japan]


This is a film work which enables the viewer to experience “differences” at various levels, including time, speakers and subtitles. Two women – twin sisters – who are in different places and have a gentle demeanor, speak of an incident that occurred in their early childhood. Through the appearance of the images, voices and subtitles on two screens simultaneously, the viewer gradually notices subtle differences in content in the twin’s descriptions of the same incident. If the viewer pays attention to the information obtained from the image on one screen, the information on the other screen is disregarded, so just like their memories, the details become mixed up and ambiguous.

Reason for Award

2 images highlighting human memory & perception gaps
From the simple display of dual-screen images emerge the elements of similarity and difference that pervade this work. The film presents close-ups of twin women with identical facial features. Both reflect on how they ended up with “plain voices,” discussing a shared childhood memory that differs slightly in the way each tells it. Through these memories of the incident, the gap between them is gradually revealed. The women’s softly spoken Portuguese has been translated and accompanies the dual images as subtitles. Trying to follow one means losing the other, and it is impossible to understand both simultaneously. Rather than reflect reality, memory grows more ambiguous with the passage of time. This film incorporates many layers of difference: the admissions of the twins, the spoken word and written text, native language and translation. Are we capable of sharing an understanding of the past? Quietly smoking out both the potential and the impossibility, this work’s delicate and intellectual approach is striking.