Kinema No Yoru (Film Night) (1986) 2:15 mins, Tokyo.
Callas’ first almost entirely animated work Kinema No Yoru introduces the motif of the menko playing card as a recurrent symbol. Popular amongst Japanese children, menko’s colourful appeal is underscored by a darker ideological bias in the set of cards at Callas’ disposal. Disjunctive images of war and territorial conquest (human bombs, brave feats, gas masks) thus convey more about Japan’s colonial aspirations than of the game’s competitive nature in the simple winning and losing of the iconic cards. The introduction of political and propagandist imagery reflects the artist’s profound scepticism toward notions of universal truth and authenticity of experience. 1
- 1. Rachel Kent from “Peter Callas: Initialising History, video works 1980-1999”