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Book of the Week: A Pick by Irina Rozovsky


Book of the Week Book of the Week: A Pick by Irina Rozovsky Irina Rozovsky selects Tokyo Parrots by Yoshinori Mizutani as Book of the Week.
Tokyo Parrots. By Yoshinori Mizutani. 
Amana, 2014.
This week's Book of the Week pick comes from Irina Rozovsky who has selected Tokyo Parrots by Yoshinori Mizutani from Amana.

"Once at a natural history museum I stumbled on two tiny, taxidermied birds and a simple but astounding discovery. They sat facing each other on a petrified branch and as I moved around them, their colors rippled like iridescent gems reflecting light. They were pretty enough but it was the description that blew my mind. It said that what we see on their coats is a mere fraction of the colors that are there and that what they can see in each other is an infinite, intricate array of colors making up a complex system of communication.

Wow. Of course. Color is an inherent, nature given language; and photography is its manmade translation — shifting its original meaning, rippling its expression. I like the idea that the human eye can only see so much — a dull and limited instrument, like a flabby muscle that needs exercise.  Yoshinori Mizutani’s Tokyo Parrots gives the eye a much needed dose of electric shock treatment, letting us imagine what these feral parrots who have infested Tokyo look like, not to the human eye, but to each other. 

I like the image making here a lot. It is poised and erratic all at once, an exciting combination — and helps us surrender our typical, cozy way of seeing the facts of this bat crazy world. The fact of parrots (I guess they are actually orphaned pet parakeets) descending on a city is strange, like a children’s fable gone awry. But Mizutani’s success is that he makes of it agile images that are stranger yet. The book has no beginning or end but an atonal, unpredictable, frenzied rhythm like the flapping of a hundred wings."—Irina Rozovsky

Purchase Book

Tokyo Parrots. By Yoshinori Mizutani. Amana, 2014.
Tokyo Parrots. By Yoshinori Mizutani. Amana, 2014.


Irina Rozovsky just published her second monograph Island in my Mind. She is an assistant professor of photography at Massachusetts College of Art and lives in Boston. www.irinar.com

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