Video

Kae, Act Like A Girl!

Mako Idemitsu

1997, 47:09 minutes, colour, Japanese/English

TAPECODE 171.15

Kae Aoki and Minoru Ito went to art school together and they got married right after graduation. The day they moved into their new home, Minoru stood in the middle of the space that was to be their studio and said "You use that side and I'll use this side. Let's cooperate with each other and do some good work".
The two worked there side by side and when it was time to eat they would both stop and prepare the food together. At least this is how they started out. Eventually, Minoru began asking Kae to make dinner while he continued working. He pushed this task on her gradually and subtly, suggesting for example, "Why don't you make dinner? I'll clean up?" When he made these suggestions, something inside caused her to waver in her resolve to keep working. I was an attitude instilled in her as a child because of the way her parents and school teachers behaved toward her a a girl in comparison with her older brother.
Kae used the time and energy required for her art work in house work and other miscellaneous tasks. In this work I wanted to show how psychological factors, her training in the home and school, had led her to give priority to Minoru's work. For example, Minoru is seen continuing to work while Kae does the dishes. Her childhood memories appear on a plate as soap suds drip onto it. She is lying in Bed next to her mother as a very young girl, and her mother is saying, " A girl is better off giving in sweetly and not making a fuss." At first Kae does give in because of this psychological programming, but eventually she fights against these psychological factors and wins.

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