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2021 SPE Annual Conference: Imagining Legacy: Archives, Collections, and Memoria

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Patrick Nagatani: Living in the Story (Film Screening)

Saturday, November 03 - 11:00AM to 12:00PM
Honors College Forum

Film Screening


"Living in the Story" documents thirty-five years of art making by the distinguished photographic artist Patrick Ryoichi Nagatani, one of the most brilliant photographic artists of our era. A third-generation Japanese American, he pioneered the Contemporary Constructed Photographic Movement in Los Angeles in the late 1970s. Deeply concerned and well informed about world history and events, the artist has since the 1980s completed several projects addressing modern day's anxieties, with particular emphasis on the threat of nuclear technology.


Nagatani is well-known for his unorthodox techniques of constructing tableau photographs from sets, sculptures, models and paintings, as well as for his subtle weaving of fact and fiction. He believes that there is no truth in a photograph, claiming it is "merely a reproduction of a moment," and concerns himself rather with the narrative aspect. The "magic" in a work, as he said, is "living in the story."

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