TSUKIJI (Allan Sekula) VTape Video Salon until January 15 Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
Tokyo's Tsukiji fish market is the biggest in the world. It's a place where you can see whole bluefin tuna auctioned like gemstones and breakfast at dawn on ultra-fresh sushi and tall bottles of beer. American art photographer Allan Sekula took his video camera to Tsukiji and recorded, in graceful detail, the rhythms of work there.
It's a simple idea, but the result is mesmerizing. Workers grade fat, bulbous tuna. Rapid-fire auctioneers hype up prices. A man grabs one live eel after another and reduces them to fillets.
From little cubbyholes, women oversee the action.
Sekula's tape is bookended by enigmatic references to a Japanese writer's fate at Tsukiji decades ago, but that's a distraction.
This tape is best watched as a potent meditation on craft, on labour and on the invisible circuit of food.