“Yourself,” a character modeled after the artist, travels on a train through landscapes that juxtapose different media, such as live-action film, photography, animation and computer graphics. Inspired by “anime tourism”—visiting actual places that are used as settings in fictional anime or movies—the work unfolds as a discussion on the thing we call “world.”
Szemán proposes the idea that we are perceiving the world as a macrocosm in which anime, video game and other fictional places mix or overlap with real environments. Anime tourism, or “anime pilgrimage,” refers to the act of placing one’s own body in environments that were initially borrowed from the real world for the creation of fictional ones, and identifying them with reality once again. This can also be understood as an attempt to cross a boundary that exist between two different realms. In today’s increasingly diversified world, however, it has become difficult for us to define where exactly that boundary is. Maybe it would even be more precise to say that we are living in some kind of grey area, where the boundary is blurred, and the two realms mix and overlap.
The elements in this work—an anime opening sequence, a video game loading screen, and a railway train—can also be interpreted as being placed on a boundary of sorts, just short of their respective original purposes: watching this work, playing a video game, and traveling from one place to another. These difficult-to-grasp temporal and spatial settings are not at all idle, but they contain ample forebodings of things to happen. Living in a border area is not a result of having dropped out of one world, but it means having unlimited options to choose from.