Artist, Shigeko Kubota: My name is Shigeko Kubota. I was born in Japan on the mountainside, near the Sea of Japan.
Curator, Erica Papernik Shimizu: In the mid-1970s, Kubota, then living in New York, made a series of video sculptures that reinterpret works by the artist Marcel Duchamp. Here she used different frame rates, shooting in both film and video, to transform Duchamp’s painting of a nude in motion.
Shigeko Kubota: Duchamp's Nude Descending, he's cutting time, slashing in time. I said this is a very beautiful movement. Can I show it on video? Video's good for cutting in time, changing in time, fast or slower or freeze, you know.
Erica Papernik Shimizu: Kubota shot the footage in the lobby of Anthology Film Archives, in lower Manhattan. Filmmaker Sheila McLaughlin agreed to be the subject.
Shigeko Kubota: It was a cold winter day. We covered all the glass window, so people don't see us. She was gorgeous and pretty and elegant. I respected her body movement of descending down, and up, descending down.
Erica Papernik Shimizu: The image of the nude repeats across four television monitors, which are concealed within a plywood staircase. The staircase, in addition to referencing the one in the painting, served a practical purpose: it hid the brand name on the monitors.
Shigeko Kubota: I buy the Sony TV, but I didn't want to show it to Sony. I thought a wooden box is better to hide the company's name. Natural, organic material to the video, like, you know, shining movies, light coming from the box. Beautiful. Magic I thought.