Before Wearout:, 2020, single-channel digital video, color, sound, TRT 00:08:08. Commissioned by Storefront for Art & Architecture, New York, for StorefrontTV Season 3: On Maintenance.

 

While visiting relatives in Kochi, Japan, my partner’s hometown, the international lockdown caused by coronavirus caught us off guard, and we remained abroad in semi-quarantine for three months. Before Wearout: portrays some of the cultural nuances of domestic life that I encountered while living in this new environment. In a small space, I perform a sequence of actions that viewers can try at home using resources they have on hand. For me, these include a futon, a pomelo, and some cleaning tools. 

 

Though not without a struggle, I tried to do as the locals do. I learned about the culture by conversing with my mother-in-law, eating seasonal produce, and browsing old housewives’ magazines. I reflected upon being confined to a context that never seems to change, and the sense of weariness that this can create. As I foundd myself having “more time than life,” I considered the importance of establishing self-care methods to avoid wearout, and the ways in which mundane actions gain new meaning as we see things around us suddenly shifting.