Seiji Kurata. Japan
Here are photographs that portray not so much remarkable events as genre scenes, all frozen in a kind of eerie instant. Human movement has been arrested, giving a sense of the body having been transfixed and left hanging with no place to go instead of being allowed to flow into the next second as it normally would. Exceedingly unstable and uncertain, each scene would almost surely not have appeared to the naked eye, but is indeed a product of the mechanized vision of that instrument called a camera. In other words, they were captured by the camera and then discovered only later, in the darkroom.
This explains why Kurata’s works betray so little of the presence of the photographer. The camera catches first, and then he sees: in that sense, Kurata is ever turning his gaze on an alternate reality fixed as a piece of photography. Rather than propose photographic ways of seeing, Kurata apprehends the other world there inside a photograph, making him closer in standing to a viewer. He is, we might say, an invisible man with a camera.
Kurata the photographer remains far behind the light of the flash, receding into near-total anonymity. He sees, and then presents what he has seen. Precisely because it is mechanized, his vision remains unlimited by preconceived images.