After Japan’s economic recession in the ‘90’s when many smaller businesses went bankrupt, some business men would still put on their suits and leave the house in the morning, not telling their families what had happened to their business. Some never returned. They disappeared in the city. They blamed themselves for their ‘failure’.
‘Lost Time’ portrays business men and women in their 40’s and 50’s, dressed for work yet appear in ‘non-work’ places (between 9am and 6pm). Like the Japanese business men who were unable to come to terms with the new condition, the characters in ‘Lost Time’ feel out of place, disoriented, not knowing what to do with themselves! Some refuse to leave the house, others are ‘lost’ in the city.
The project is a critique on corporate culture. We are moving towards a time when more than ever the young are fetishised and the middle-aged are unwanted. They are increasingly encouraged to take early retirement. Whereas in the past, the young had the ‘look’ and the ‘old’ had the wisdom – now the former seems to own both!
So the work addresses the concept of ageism, by portraying the individual’s sense of pre-mature inactivity, unwantedness and ultimately ‘failure’, in a society where work and competition seems to over-power all other values. On another level, the work is an ironic commentary on the ‘ethos’ of the present time; once we are stripped of our corporate identity, what’s left to hang on to!
text by Mitra Tabrizian