Tabaimo’s animations are without doubt unsettling. But the more you watch yudangami (2009) the more you want to watch and the same can be said for her entire show at Parasol Unit. It would be rational to look away, but the films deal in revealing the hidden. No wonder they are compelling.
In yudangami the hair becomes a living curtain which is parted, glimpse by glimpse, to allow us to witness scenes of increasing strangeness. Disembodied hands caress this screen, building the sense of tension and of promise. They may belong to us. They may belong to the artist. Either way we are involved.
By the end we have taken part in a mystery with no obvious cause, meaning or solution. Tabaimo has enshrouded us. We succumb to the fascination of what unfolds as if to death. So the film’s very watch-ability is a problem.
But not a problem for the artist. She demonstrates that art can transport its subjects to the very edge of consciousness, or to the other side of human knowledge. You do not have to wonder why people make art when it appears to offer its users such powers.
yudangami features in Tabaimo – Boundary Layer, at Parasol Unit, London, until August 6 2010