9.7. –2.10. 2022

Bruce & Norman Yonemoto

Mirror of Desire

The Kunstverein in Hamburg is proud to present Mirror of Desire, the first institutional solo exhibition of Bruce (*1949, USA) and Norman Yonemoto (*1946-2014, USA) in Germany.

The artists’ highly stylized, ironic, and camp films deconstruct the visual language of advertising and the tropes of Hollywood cinema. In their work, they draw from genres like the melodrama or the soap opera to simultaneously exaggerate and deflate narrative structures, cultural mythologies, and psychoanalytic norms. Informed by queer and Asian-American perspectives, the films in Mirror of Desire exemplify a form of analysis that takes dominant visual culture and the techniques of its production as its object.

Often produced as collaborations, Bruce and Norman Yonemoto’s films star several figures from the Los Angeles art and performance scene, including Patricia Arquette, Goldie Glitters and Spalding Gray, Mike Kelley, Ron Vawter and Mary Woronov—all of whom appear in Mirror of Desire at the Kunstverein in Hamburg.

Curated by Milan Ther

The exhibition is made possible with the kind support of the Ministry of Culture and Media of Hamburg.


12.10, Garage Sale (1976)

13.35, Blinky the Friendly Hen (1988)

13.51, Green Card: An American Romance (1982)

15.06, Spalding Gray's Map of L.A. (1984)

15.34, Made in Hollywood (1990)

16.30, Vault (1984)

16.40, Kappa (1986)

17.02, A History of Clouds (1991)

Bruce (1949, USA) and Norman Yonemoto (1946-2014, USA) are artists working with single-channel video and multimedia installations. Born to Japanese-American parents, the brothers were grew up in Silicon Valley in the immediate post-war period.In 1968, Norman moved to Los Angeles where he attended UCLA before completing an MFA at the American Film Institute Center for Advanced Studies. In 1972 Bruce earned a BA from the University of California, Berkeley and continued his studies at the Sokei Art Institute in Tokyo. After returning from Japan in 1975, Bruce completed an MFA at Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles. The two founded KYO-DAI Productions in 1976.

Their work has been exhibited around the world, including at the Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles, California Video at the Getty Research Institute, the Long Beach Museum of Art, the 11th Paris Biennale, the Tokyo Biennale, and the Tokyo Biennale. Paris Biennial; Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE); Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; Image Forum, Tokyo; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; American Film Institute National Video Festival, Los Angeles; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington DC; Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York; Santa Monica Museum of Art; Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio; and Kunstverein in Cologne.

Bruce Yonemoto is a professor and adjunct professor of Studio Art at the University of California and a recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship this year.

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