News from No-Place, Black Beauties Strutt Their Stuff, 8"x11" text and 20"x24" polaroids, 1988-89
News from No-Place, Text Pretext, 8"x11" text and 20"x24" polaroids, 1988-89
News from No-Place, Open House, 8"x11" text and 20"x24" polaroids, 1988-89
News from No-Place, Dinner, 8"x11" text and 20"x24" polaroids, 1988-89
News from No-Place, Marriage, 8"x11" text and 20"x24" polaroids, 1988-89
News from No-Place, Return of Loved Ones, 8"x11" text and 20"x24" polaroids, 1988-89
News from No-Place, Making Deal, 8"x11" text and 20"x24" polaroids, 1988-89
News from No-Place, New Home, 8"x11" text and 20"x24" polaroids, 1988-89
(published in American History Reinvented (New York: Aperture, 1989), pp. 48-51.)
There were 83 softball teams organized into several leagues, and eight playing fields. Ball games were played daily by the young and the old, and by females as well as males. There were dances, parties, picnics and amateur shows...movies...judo and sumo...drama...[i]
On the right-hand side of Warren Neidich's diptychs, internees (called evacuees)...the Americans of Japanese ancestry who were kept in interment camps (named "relocation centers") during World War II...are represented by period photographs with their accompanying texts, photographs takes, stocked, and released by the Associated Press. They are in the ice cream bar, under an apple tree, plucking at a guitar; they are busy with their children, they are quietly reading or purposefully eating their lunches; they are marrying and dancing and swinging at softballs and nursing their kittens. They are "making the best of it" and "keeping cheerful."
These emphatically humanized subjects produced by the Associated Press are constructed within a litany of naturalizing domestic effects that precisely and elaborately simulate the conditions of American social normality. Yet the scenarios of leisure and consumption here are also picked out against a background of the aberrant and the untoward: the spectacle of mass relocation is everywhere apparent, or is everywhere implied. A first reading of the press photograph and its caption text, then, will not reveal a simple denial of the fait accompli of deportation. Rather, it will inscribe the condition of exile (literally) as the point of departure (or the point of reception). It is from away from) the datum of concentrated exile (the "camp") that the secondary messages of the text-image ensemble proceed. So both the text-image compound and the series of thematically associated text-images, bracketed under generalizing rubrics ("keeping cheerful") and originally encountered in the newspaper day by day or side by side, are overcoded by the calculated effacement of arrest, captivity, or abnormality. The first term of the press photograph is that the event, this evacuation, has already happened: the invocation of war emergency, the hackles of military paranoia, the grooves of government fiat have already staged the internment. There is no going back, there is only "accommodation"...the manufacture on behalf of the non-Japanese-American population of a comfortable specular relation to the scene/seen of the camp. Such a relation is compelled to elide two key but contradictory components: a prominent display of physiognomic (biological, racial) otherness, on the one hand, is amalgamated and blurred with a kind of pre-"Family of Man" transcendent long-suffering, on the other. The result is an appeal to a collocation of difference and transnational community, in an unstable equilibrium as both sanction and appeasement for a regrettable but (visible) necessary contingency.
While it may offer a crucial, even a determining model for the visual representation of the camps, the press photograph was not the only contemporary means by which their image was constructed. Our historical knowledge of these centers is structured by a complex exchange of ideological information. Still, Neidich uses the press image as that exchange's common currency. By separating the (found) image from the (original) text (complete with its irregular typography and unfathomable numerical schemes, and in one case actually separated, accidentally, from its image-reference), by interrupting both the design and the swift, nondurable passage of the newspaper format, he invites us to reinscribe the moment of the camps into the fuller system of their (visual) representation elsewhere. The newspaper image-text is affirmed as negotiable and contigent at the same time (and in the same place) that its "rhetoric" and assertiveness are laid bare.
If we refute the grounds of their swift arrival and their reflex of sudden meanings, it is precisely the coded vacuity of the press image and the unnegotiated instantaneousness of its caption that require the consideration of historical supplements. These include, most immediately, the documented material conditions of camps, and the repertoire of photographic (and other visual) images produced in and about it...whether "common," "art" or "documentary" photographs. This discussion will be limited to an analysis of the interplay (already set in motion by the exhibition and critical systems) between the most widely circulated images of the relocation centers, whose generic allegiance is split, unequally, between the categories of "art" and "documentary." Neidich's work, then, stands in an implicit, yet inevitable, relation to an influential assemblage of phototypes.
There were, in fact, at least three other well-known photographic reprises of the Manzanar "Relocation Center" (in the Owens Valley, east-central California). Dorothea Lange, for example, offered a suite of images redolent with the fine print of sentimentality and elaborately itemized pathos that she had already formulated in her Dust Bowl and Depression photographs. Her advertisement of social injustice is activated by an explicit lapse into a kind of transcultural "misericordia humana," and stands as the obverse to the double-pronged invocation of identity-in-difference in the press photograph. The Lange images are loaded with embellished calls for spontaneous sympathy; they were released as liberal propaganda.
By contrast, the photographs of Ansel Adams and Toyo Miyatake (which were interestingly if uncritically paired in a Los Angeles exhibition a decade ago[ii]) appear to challenge the contextual evacuations of both these idioms through a (seemingly) common recourse to the twin strategies of the documentary and the "fine-art" photograph. They renounce, equally, the willed-for emotional immediacy of Lange and the more overtly postured and duplicitous double articulation of the Associated Press. They produce "cooler," more formally configurated photographs, with greater narrative suggestion than be negotiated by the instant symbolic aura of the AP and Lange.
But there are important distinctions to be made between the work of Adams and that of Miyatake, distinctions which help us to reveal the exclusionary lapse of signification institutionalized in the press photograph, and interrogated by Neidich. For Adams, the spectacular mountainscapes in the Manzanar vicinity offer the silent approbation of a distant natural sublimity that frames and reduces the individual and collective condition of the camps. The mountains faintly outlined in the background of "Packing Bus," 1943, for example, lend the otherwise contextless arrival of a consignment of internees a kind of post-Edenic grandeur. In "Burning Leaves, Autumn Morning," 1943, the mountains are more emphatically present, and serve to abet the transformation of the Japanese-American workers and their farming implements into a silent, passive, monolith-like circle, transfigured (outside the real conditions of their service) between close fire and distant snow in a motionless autumn labor. Rather differently, Adam's studio portrait "C.T.Hibino, Artist," 1943, renders the camp's entourage of mountains as a painted backdrop...a literal painting by Hibino of sunflowers and mountains...that insists through the escapist artifice of the painter (and/or through the contrivance of the photographer), on the natural, romantic conditions outside.
For Mitayake, the mountains act more as reminders of what lies on the other side of the boundaries of the "center." Two of his photographs "Main Gate, Manzanar" and "Sign Marking the Camp Zone," both 1944, explicitly contrast the flatness and alienation of the camp territory with the looming irregularity of the mountain peaks, which are blurred in the first image and deliberately effaced by the sign and but he low angle of the second. The sign itself acts as a frame of texts, one in English written horizontally across its top, two others written vertically and to either side in Japanese, so that a vacant white square occupies the center of the notice. This departure from the normal lineaments of the environment's signed information is subtly revealed as itself a marker of captivity, an icon of prohibition and delimitation, an implicit reminder that Manzanar was surrounded by a "barbed wire fence and watch towers equipped with searchlights," and that a "military unit was bivouacked just outside the center proper."[iii] So while Miyakate, whose photographs were achieved (at least at first) with primitive, smuggled materials and shot unbeknownst to the camp authorities, strives to build a system of resistance into its imagesadamsmay well be said to have "bypassed a political study of ManzAnar," to have produced "idealized" and romanticized depictions of the interness clearly "reminiscent of the surface articulation of this landscapes."[iv]
This divergence between the victim and the voyer is everywhere revealed in the exhibited Adams/Miyatake photographs, Adam's images, for example, explicitly celebrate an almost unrestrained fecundity in the food production of the "center." We see Richard Kolbyashi wearing an open smile of agricultural accomplishment and clutching a symmetrical brace of burly cabbages, one under each arm; and the subject of "Benji Iguchi with Squash Crop," 1943, holds the same confident, hands-on-hips stance, his figure all but crowded out by the cornucopic tanks of orderly squash. Here Adams recapitulates the socio-culinary myth-making of the Associated Press, with its effortless significations of unfettered production and happy consumption. Miyatake, on the other hand, denies much of this stage-managed virtual space of the comestible. His "Vegetable Delivery at Camp Mess Hall," 1944, shows a truck loaded with crates of carrots and stacks of potatoes, with nine younger Nisei (American-born Japanese Americans) perched and leaning on the vehicle. The figures are not heroic individual producers but haulers and unpackers of imported foodstuff. They appear passive more out of fatigue and resignation than from prideful camera-posing.
In these and other photographs, then, Miyatake has partly confronted the effortfulness and deprivation of the relocation center with respect to the importation, production, and social consumption of food. In so doing he is drawing on his actual experience of the camp and its daily routines. Accounts by other eye-witnesses corroborate the suggestions in Miyatake's photographs that first, while there was usually enough food to go round, it was generally poor in quality, nutrition, and preparation, and second, that the cooking and the eating of meals was completely at odds with the social codes of the internees, who conceived of meals as commodiously managed and properly ritualized. Thus they were left frustrated and dislocated. One report observes that "being ignorant of the evacuees' diet, the army procured huge quantities of Bologna, sauerkraut, shredded wheat, potatoes." [v] Another observes of the assembly centers that the evacuees "had to line up for an hour or so in the heat of the midday sun, only to get a couple of boiled potatoes and a piece of bread for lunch."[vi] Miyatake confronts the viewer with similar scenarios of humiliation and want (though never obtrusively), while the Associated Press offers only pseudohealthful, popular simulations, and Adams conjugates his images with an obtrusive formal armature and an elusive land(e)scapism.
Another crucial difference between Miyatake and Adams is that the former produced almost no artfully confected still lifes and very few individual portraits. Adams, in contrast, apparently found the portrait an efficient means of loading his photographic image with a sufficiently strong personal, formal, and symbolic aura, thus deflecting the photographic sign from its work in the social and political. His close-up portrait "Yuichi Hiroka," 1943, for example, conjures an engrossing 'special territory' from the monitored boy-face. His other head-and-shoulders portraits offer crisp, formalized, follicle-sharp images that appear to insist on the conundrum of personality equally as they chart only quiet resolve or silent (inscrutable, "oriental") resignation...precisely the qualities of stoic expressionism that usually characterize Adams's technical dramatization of the face, but that are exaggerated here through the cultivation of "japoniste" enigma.[vii]
When it comes to the photography of group activities, the calculation of Adams and the resistance of Miyatake are especially apparent. Adams's well-known "Jive Bombers," 1943, locks the young performers into a strange moment of strong visual symmetry and well-controlled jazz-abandonment. The grid of saxophonists with their greased and sliched-back hair is caught in the vivid process of acting out a new American ritual; yet between the crowded tessellation of the "J/B? (Jive Bombers) placards and the even lines of fastidiously groomed heads, only the faintest glimpses are afforded of the real conditions of internment, which are all but eclipsed behind them...the bare wooden boards and the spare wooden seats of the "flimsy, tar-papered army barracks" that were both hostel and recreational center to the ten thousand.[viii] The photograph is a fantasy-image of the transport of music and performance, and of the (often willing) submission by the evacuees, especially the American-born Nisei, to the sanctioned and policeable release of American cultural rituals. Miyatake's "Group of Majorettes," 1944, on the other hand, parodies the absurdity, as much as it celebrates the achievements of ritualized Americana. The group here is a photo-platform of adolescent majorettes posed in front of completely snow-filled mountains, caught in a bothersome, dust-blowing wind, and struggling to retain their camera-induced smiles, some wearing the proper white boots that go with the majorette uniform, others obviously unable to find or afford them. Camp apparatuses...telegraph poles, unstable Nissen huts...are still visible at the peripheries of the photograph, and one effect of this image is to signal the brave, vaguely self-conscious sense of irony manifested by this group of young women...an irony and awareness that contrasts notably with the preoccupied (and scrupulously arranged) male abandonment of Adams's jazz cadets.
More typically, Adams sought private, quasi-domestic scenarios...interiors and still lifes...that he could compose and control with greater precision than the "found moment" of performance. "Top of Radio in Yonemitsu Residence," 1943, for example, features a scrupulously haphazard assemblage; stacks of letters, decorative gourds, a beribboned potted plant on a doily, and a Jesus picture partly effaced by the photograph of a Japanese-American soldier. These "casual" items, as well as the radio on which they stand, are all deliberate emblems of achieved normalcy. They are as artfully natural in their signification as the energetic photographs of the Associated Press are naturally artful. "Nobutero Harry Sumida," 1943, attempts to construct a similar scene of quiet domesticity. Its protagonist is represented reading in front of a radiator that has vases of flowers on top. Even the least considered reading of the radiator in this image will reveal it as (merely) a (contrived) sign of warmth and well-being: if the radiator were functioning, then flowers would not (ordinarily) be placed on top of it. Either it didn't work, or the photograph has been arbitrarily conceived; both of these possibilities militate against the domesticating impulse of the photographer.
Adams's anxious impulse to accommodate the lived experience of the evacuees in tranquil, blandly particularized familial settings, unencumbered by the physical and emotional traumas of their situation, found its clinching image in his "Mr. and Mrs. Toyo Miyatake and Family," 1943, in which the photographer (voyeur) represents the photographer (victim). The floral couches and encyclopedias, the well-stocked magazine rack (Vogue, The New Yorker, etc) the make-shift curtains, the miniature Christmas tree are all naturalized beyond their obvious provisionality (the scene is visibly not a '40s domestic interior, even though it suggests that it is) by the clever device of offering Bohemian flourishes...paint-brushes, art on the wall...that suggest the space is abnormal only insofar as it is the locus of artistic creation. We ought not to be able to differentiate this place from, say, a summer studio in Wisconsin. Yet, again, Adams's work is exposed by close analysis as an allusive simulation of imaginary living conditions. Furthermore, we can demonstrate that his drive for this kind of dry symbolic fabulism is double exposed (as it were) in both the configuration of the image and, as we noted above in respect of the food problem, in the oral and written descriptions of day-to-day life at Manzanar that have survived the camps.
The preponderant anxiety of the evacuees was not that they had no shelter, as it was not that they were literally starved. Instead, they were concerned, and often affronted, that their cultural experience of the social partitioning of space, and of the privacies and intimacies consequent upon it, were totally subverted by a system of open-plan dormitories, communal mess-halls, and "common shower-latrines" that facilitated surveillance and control by the camp officials.[ix] It was precisely the lack of private, enclosed, domestic-like space in the camps that caused most resentment and frustration amongst the evacuees. Within these arduous constraints, however, the people of the camps did strive to construct makeshift symbolic zones for their leisure or privacy; and Miyatake offers...in "Merrit Park," 1944, with its rickety pavilion and crooked benches fashioned from found wood, or in the astonishingly dignified and well-wrought flower and vegetable garden of "Mr. Honda's Home in Block 206," 1945...a few glimpses of such places. But they are photographed as plein air and provisional, and they therefore mark a singular opposition to the enclosed and socially abstracted tableaux of Ansel Adams.
The circulated speed and consumability of the press photograph, of course, produces its own social abstraction and while this reduction is partly reproduced by Adams, his are the refusals and evacuations of stasis, fixture and control. The comparison between Adams and Miyatake reveals the ground that we must build up so that we can read through the busy quietism of the press photo. It reveals some of the political tonalities and social experience that the overcoded and undernourished newspaper image can only fake. The environment and context of the relocation centers (their deserts, mountains and margins); the constructed faciality of the internees; their basic experiences of sustenance and personal space and their social interaction and group rituals: all these determinations suffered by the people of the camps are mobilized in the silences between these phototypes. And in so far as Neidich's images are successful, they manage their critique through the withdrawal of (literal) appropriation, and the by-passing of appropriation's unitary deconstruction. He thus challenges the photo-assemblage to interrogate the conditions of its formation (and its engagements). It is the system of appropriation that is at stake here, a system that can be effectively revealed through a plurality of images, and supplements.
It is, however, with scrupulously managed, almost choreographed phototableaux and invented text that Neidich confronts the scavenged found photographs (and blurbs) of the relocation centers across the ironic symmetries of his diptychs. The historical specificity of the camps and of their image repertoire is juxtaposed with a series of manufactured narratives staged in one or another of the simulated, historicist, pay-as-you-enter townships that have mushroomed from coast to coast in the United States during the last decade or so. These narratives address the political and social representational contingencies of black America in the 19th century. If the World War II image on the right-hand side of each diptych takes on the instant institutionalization and segregation of 'racially' specified people of colour at a moment of 'national emergency" (and thus comprises a newspaper photograph with its accompanying fragment of text), the left side of the work engages the larger problem of the institution, dissolution, and relentless aftermath of slavery. The government-produced panic measures of the mid-20th-century camps, and their popular correlatives in the high-street antioriental racism of the West Coast before, during, and after the war years, are confronted, then, with a vaster social and political regime predicated on the biological signs of difference ("skin, hair and bone"[x]), and operative, at an epochal level, for at least a century before and after the point that Neidich fixes as the historical moment of his tableaux, 1850...that is, a decade and a half before the adoption of the Thirteenth Amendment, which, in December 1865, proclaimed the freedom of blacks from involuntary servitude in America.
Now the tableaux themselves are an amalgam of management and risk. The strategy they deploy is almost incommensurably different from other recent efforts...mainly the products of literature departments...to reconsider the textual representation of blacks. Tzvetan Todorov laments the tendency of much of this criticism to work from an analytic scenario "composed of stereotypes": Racial others are either noble savages or filthy curs, rarely anything in between; and in any case, whether they are judged to be inferior (as by those authors who worship civilization) or superior (as by those who embrace primitivism), they are radically opposed to European whites. This results in what Jan-Mohamed calls a "Manichean allegory," namely, "a field of diverse yet interchangeable oppositions between white and black, good and evil, superiority and inferiority," and so forth.[xi]
By posing black actors in (impossible) imaginary contexts of white middle- or lower-middle-class "normality," Neidich seems to offer precisely the negotiation between stereotypical extremes (the "in between") that Todorov marks as absent both in 19th-century fiction and 'theory,' and in the recent commentary upon them. By explicitly staging the production of racial illusionism, Neidich not only questions the category of "race" itself, but visualizes the insufficiency of textual deconstruction to address specific material issues in the historical production of ("racial") difference.
The risk, then, is in the refusal of the text-images on the left side of the diptychs to reproduce (simulate) the "natural" circumstances that would (might) have attached to the social interactions of blacks in 1850. They refuse to attempt a renegotiation of the (anachronistic) codings of the press photograph in its interested re-presentation of a fresh, literal morphology of the vivid scene of disabuse and repression. They refuse, then, the ostensible historicist neutrality of the photographic archive in favor of an always unstable, always flawed (but never appropriated) enactment (construction) of illegitimate exchanges: asides, chatter, casual meetings, middle-class conviviality.
Neidich's social (and formal) messages in the diptychs, and in the other works presented on this occasion, also set up an important dialog with the predicates of both modernist and (so-called) postmodern photographic practice. The selection, framing, and relocation of "found" images and texts from the Associated Press can be said to recapitulate the paradigmatic procedure of modernist visuality: that of collage (in "fine art" practice), of montage (in film), or of juxtaposition (of textual fragments in modernist poetry and prose). Yet it does so by denying the "found" material (here photograph and text) a position within a "ground" of other elements (found or produced), except, of course, for the given "frames" of exhibition or publication. Because of this denial of a grounding (which is also a crucial denial of the individualist "creativity" of the fine art domain), Neidich's procedure in this case might be likened to "appropriation," or to "re-photography." But the conjunction of the emphatically unassisted condition of the AP panels and the overassisted (overconstructed) condition of the left-hand image/texts in fact offers a mode of production that is unassimilable to the (relatively closed) theoretical operations of all three of these photographic activities...modernist, appropriative, re-photographic...even though it inevitably acknowledge aspects of their modes of signification.
The work also refuses what we might call the "re-textualization" carried on in recent photographic practices that are more insistently critical or deconstructive in the social and political arenas. Common to the images of, say, Barbara Kruger, Victor Burgin, and Martha Rosler (to name three very differently organized practices) is a metaphoric reinscription of a resonate text, (usually) deployed over the surface of a found, staged, or otherwise interfered-with photographic image ensemble. In a sense, this kind of highly disturbing paradigmatic (and resolutely modernist) dislocation between the socially produced sign-systems of written language and photographic visuality seems to be rejected in Neidich's work in favor of a syntagmatic seriality that places unadorned found images and texts side by side on one axis at the same time that it sets highly confected images and texts in the same associative position on another. The result of all this is an image system that does not privilege the allure of metaphoricity above the syntagmatic series, the sequentiality of the everyday. But neither does the work deny the conflict, the clash, of the two planes or events that meet in the metaphoric. Types of otherness (signed as "yellow" or "black"), moments of history (ca. 1850, ca. 1943), modes of representation (the press photograph, the imaginary tableau) are juxtaposed across the central axis of the series of works (and, we could add, between this series and other series); but Neidich has offered precisely a clash of histories and codes that enables the addressee to acknowledge the actual labor of the making of the visual in and on behalf of ideological formations.
What is revealed most insistently in these works is the operation of a relay between types and experiences of ideologically regulated otherness as they are constructed and imposed through social determinations of "racial" difference. The circuit of extenuations on which the exploitation of so-called marginal cultures by the agencies of the governing symbolic ("democratic") order depends is registered in Neidich's works as a subtext of ghostlike traces annotating the two key moments of "racial" coercion isolated in the diptychs. The "emergency" ghettoization of Japanese Americans in the ten relocation centers was specifically engineered to put the internees at as great a distance as possible from the urban centers (those other "concentrations") of "white civilization." In the larger historical series, this physical remove of a "racial" minority was only a more drastic continuation of the social and legal ostracisms already visited upon America's "oriental" immigrants, beginning with the anti-Chinese agitations of the late 19th century and including the Alien Land Acts of 1913 and 1920, and the infamous Oriental Exclusion Act of 1924, according to which Asians were held as definitively inassimilable to the sociality of the United States, and were thus denied entry quotas into the country (unlike Europeans).
In what amounts to an interpolation of this exclusionary logic, the relocation centers were deliberately set up in remote "no-man's-lands," for the most part western deserts and marshes. It is hardly surprising that the camps were often build in or near to Native American reservations, as at Poston, Arizona. The no-place of yellow-skinned otherness was thus designated by a logic similar to the construction by which difficult, mineral-poor or otherwise unwanted land was "reserved" for native ("red-skinned") Americans. Of course, the concept of "race" itself, which sanctions these apartheid bureaucratic regulations, is always a myth engendered by a majority fearful of contamination by the imputed auras of difference; institutionalized notions of "otherness" are always constituted as an unstable compound of phobias united under an always idealist and transcendent banner of negativities (not-white, not-normal, not-Christian, not-recognizable). This is revealed by some of the chillingly contradictory edicts and rulings issued to the fledging relocation centers as they received their first evacuees. Perhaps the most outrageous of these pronouncements was offered at the Tule Lake Relocation Center, in northern California near Mount Shasta. Here, as an expedient to control fraternization between "staff" and internees, and also, no doubt, to circumvent potentially troublesome paperwork, "for administrative purposes even Negroes were classified as Caucasians." [xii] This formulation is, of course, as close to an ultimate reductio ad absurdum in the question of "race" as one might ever find: it rehearses (and undoes) in an instant the whole unstable circuitry of naming and ruling under the dictates of "race." The fatuous loop of colors and types and biologies has been completed in the darkness of pure fabulism and hypocritical expediency. In respect of such outbreaks of logical blight and paradoxology, we can say further that the political misconstruction of "race," in extremis, also relates to other attempts by the governing order to regulate the discursive zones of society and to purge them of excess and deviance. The proposed centrification of allegiance to the United States (which, in a different form, became the iterated call to conservative order...as against "liberal pluralism," which does not compel symbolic loyalty...in the 1988 U.S. election campaign) required of the wartime internees by a Loyalty Registration questionnaire, for example, has been explicitly compared to the institutionalized categorization of "madness" and "sanity": "Like those who have been released from mental institutions with a certificate of cure, the Japanese Americans were to be trusted [following their 'release' back into society] because they had certificates of loyalty issued by the [War Relocation Agency].[xiii]
Reductivisms as extreme as the collapse of black into white, or the bureaucratic attribution to citizens of the condition of madness, however, are seldom permitted to surface in the 'democratic West' outside the exigencies of martial law and national emergency. It is precisely through the subterfuge of the historical traces of "racial" difference coded in the press photograph, decoded in the imaginary tableau, that Neidich sets up and exposes the contradictory relay of "racist" (and "racialist") effects that constitute both popular and political representation of the other.
John C. Welchman is Professor of Modern Art History in the Visual Arts Department at the University of California, San Diego.
[i] Toshio Yatsuhio, "Politics and Cultural Values: the World War II Japanese Relocation Centers and the United States Government" (New York: Arno Press, 1978), p. 339. Yatsuhio is describing the Poston Camp (also called the Colorado River Relocation Center), which occupied part of an Indian reservation 140 miles north of Yuma in Arizona.
[ii] See "Two Views of Manzanar: An Exhibition of Photographs by Ansel Adams/Toyo Miyatake," exhibition catalogue (Los Angeles: University of California, Frederick S. Wight Gallery, 1978).
[iii] Yatshuhio, p. 344.
[iv] Ibid., p. 11.
[v] Ibid., p. 486.
[vi] D. Kitagawa, "Issei and Nissei: The Internment Years" (New York: The Seabury Press, 1974), p. 77.
[vii] For an extended analysis of the position of the face in systems of representation see John Welchman, "Face(t)s: Notes on Faciality," Artforum XXVII no. 3 (November 1988).
[viii] Yatsuhio, p. 331.
[ix] See ibid., pp. 311 ff.
[x] Anthony Appiah claims that "apart from the visible morphological characteristics of skin, hair and bone, by which we are inclined to assign people to the broadest racial categories...black, white and yellow...there are few genetic characteristics to be found in the population of England that are not found in the similar proportions in Zaire or in China." See his "The Uncompleted Argument: Du Bois and the Illusion of Race," in "'Race,' Writing and Difference," ed. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (University of Chicago Press, 1986), pp. 21-22. In the same collection, in his essay "'Race,' Writing and Culture," p. 371, Tzvetan Todorov makes the same point, noting that "differences in skin color, pilosity, and body structure" are "superficial" and without basis in "science"; and differentiating between "racism" (unmitigated prejudice) and "racialism" (a discourse originating in the Enlightenment comprising a complex, if now untenable, set of "theories of race." In these and other writings the concept of "race" itself is questioned so radically that it is emphatically signified as the product of particular social and cultural conditions by being placed in "scare" or single quotes. This practice is followed here.
[xi] Todorov, ibid., p. 377.
[xii] Kitagawa, p. 75. Kitagawa also notes that the camp was built on sagebrush land reclaimed by German prisoners during World War I, thus adding a further ironic twist to the string of occupied 'no-places.'
[xiii] Ibid., p. 103.