Nobuyoshi Araki The Banquet (Shokuji)


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“The Banquet is a different affair built around the same context of mourning. Instead of pictures of himself or his deceased wife, Araki presents a catalog of their last meals together. The images are shot with a close-up ring flash and a short lens to give a microphotographic feel of the food that lands on the table in front of the couple. It is a series of Last Suppers, and the cumulative effect is a mix between celebration and oncoming decay. The food is abstracted and lushly saturated to remind the viewer of bodily organs, placenta, ovaries, uterus, etc., linking the actual food to his wife’s condition in a strange twist of acceptance and planning. We are reminded of what passes through our body as our body passes through life. We become accidental cancer eaters when viewing. A function of the images suggests that Araki can only understand and deal with this aspect of his wife’s life through photography as a coping mechanism.”




Nobuyoshi Araki
The Banquet

Photographs: Nobuyoshi Araki

Year: 1993

Publisher: Magazine House

130 pages

60 photographs

Found in Martin Parr and Gerry Badger, “The Photobook: A History Vol. I”

Posted in Contemporary Photography, Death and Photography, Japan, Masters, Mourning and Photography, Photobook, Photography - All, Reviews - All, Reviews - Photobook, Tokyo and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , .