The Fourth Dimension
Les Blank Lecture
Facing the East yet never turning its back on the West, with its strange mix of apparent tradition and innate modernity, Japan perplexes as much as it pleases, withholds in the act of revealing. The Fourth Dimension, Trinh T. Minh-ha’s essayistic work and her first in digital video, cuts an intricate key for unlocking this elusive culture. Her tack finds great visual pleasure in the everyday, composing and decomposing the social landscape, while constructing a poetic grid of temporalities, symbolic meanings, and ritual. Time is essential—the time of the video frame, the time of the ritualized past, the time of culture speeding toward its consummation. Trinh’s lyrical narration guides us through “Japan’s likeness,” the perfected framing of the sacramental familiar.