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Giovanni Jance On a visit to Tokio Florist

2019 | On a visit to Tokio Florist

On Valentine’s Day 1999, Giovanni Jance commenced an open-ended video interview with Sumi Kozawa, the proprietor of Tokyo Florist in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles. Sumi Kozawa agreed to be filmed in her florist shop and in her home, and to be asked occasional, casual questions by an off-camera interviewer. The artist’s initial interest in recording Sumi Kozawa in her environment had several distinct aspects, all relating to how the passage of time is experienced. The basis for the interview was an interest in the transactions with the flowers that Sumi Kozawa grew on-site, and particularly in the harvest of the short-lived and delicate Papaver nudicaule, also known as the Icelandic poppy (but not actually of Iceland), arranged and sold through Valentine’s Day. The original interview serves as the foundation for a series of editing interventions. First, regular cuts in the interview are spliced together with still life photographs taken some 20 years after the interview was made, and in the same year that Sumi Kozawa passed. These photographs, mostly of non-functioning analog clocks, framed family photographs, and unsold inventory, depict the domestic and transactional daily life of the Kozawa family. Second, the video is intercut with video footage of Susie Kozawa, Sumi Kozawa’s daughter, playing instruments made of found objects and objects she might use at home throughout the day; the latter footage is shot with the same kind of low-resolution digital camera that was available in 1999 and used in the original interview. Suzie Kozawa’s filmed performances ostensibly recall the two places the artist first visited twenty years earlier, on Valentine’s Day in 1999, and primarily they recall the cacophony of sounds one would hear then on any visit to the Kozawa household or to Tokyo Florist.