Kota Ezawa

Hotel Movies (the plaza)


Raised in Mössingen, Germany, Kota Ezawa worked at Düsseldorf's Kunstakademie with Nam June Paik before coming to the San Francisco Art Institute and Stanford University, and he continues to live and work in San Francisco. Since the late 1990's Ezawa has developed a practice of appropriating moving and still images from recent history and popular culture, mediated images that contain a shared cultural memory, and re-drawing them by hand in a labor intensive process where they become flattened and reminiscent of cartoons. His light boxes, animations and slide shows transform our collective memories in ways that make them both strange and familiar.

The UCSF proposal in Ezawa's words: "Hotel Movies is a four part installation in each of the lobbies of the Mission Bay Housing block. Each lobby contains a triptych based on a scene of a film where a hotel building plays a central role. The four films referenced are North by Northwest (1959), For Your Eyes Only (1981), Mystery Train (1989) and Casino (1995). Each triptych shows three drawings based on movie still frames from the beginning, middle and end of a film shot establishing the hotel as a location in the movie plot. As a whole the series looks at the nature of this establishing shot across time periods, film genres and filmmaker techniques."

Placed in the lobby entrances in the four buildings of Mission Bay Housing - temporary residences - these image series address architecture as a building type that functions also as a kind of fictional character - a character defined by the comings and goings of people.