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Jong PAIREZ (b. 1978) was born in Leyte and currently lives and works in Tokyo as an unskilled foreign migrant worker. His first positions in Japan were as a love hotel janitor, more recently as a supermarket errand person. Jong has always dreamt of becoming a career artist, but he eventually abandoned the idea after realising that art requires privilege and the kind of virtuosity as defined by Italian semiologist Paolo Virno. His estrangement from art and work allow him to develop a creative practice that withdraws away from the culture of making and the aesthetics of productive anxiety. Pairez is currently working on his postgraduate thesis at the Graduate School of Global Arts in Tokyo University of the Arts.
Portfolio: “Not to make as making.”
This video work by Anthropologist Dada Docot is an appropriation of Jong Pairez’s series of 8mm film diary that includes a film interpretation of Docot’s performance piece back in year 2007 about racial profiling in Japan. It was a metalinguistic approach to engaging the political meaning behind the performance piece. But this particular work has become controversial to both knowledge producers in the issue of ownership, authority, relationship, and different interpretation of meaning resulting to a bitter misunderstanding of both parties. However, the behind-the-scene process of this particular work reflects how we engage with people, meaning, images, relationships, etc. today – a very interesting location for a new criticality and process-based artistic practice. Moreover, following Roland Barthes’ “The Death of the Author” reading texts, images, or actions “lies not in its origins… [or creators] but in its destinations.”