One night in Tokyo a group of art/design/fashion outcasts find themselves reflecting on how much they had invested in questioning and manifesting their identities. Their path into the creative contexts was basically a journey of discoveries. A fairly safe trip since tolerance and curiosity for extremes, authorship and uniqueness was protecting them from the outside world. It is only when they understood that opportunities to make a living within those contexts were rather slim, that they realized they couldn’t escape the constraints and judgements society had built upon them. In fact, they had to confront themselves with the outside world. Their characters, their uniqueness and all those traits that once made them feel accepted, were now threats and limits for their lives in the Tokyo of the normal ones.


At this point, normality was what they were after. But how to achieve it? How to define it? Instinctively, two of the members of this group grabbed one of the many shopping bags they were handed at convenient stores, put them on their heads and started approaching passersby with the confidence only anonymity could give them. What seemed to be an outburst of frustration, turned into a liberatory act and the beginning of a deeper conversation. IF YOU WANT TO DANCE IT’S OK became a temporary get-away from the overimposed labels of gender, ethnicity, age, identity and the general prejudice they were subject to.


The project IF YOU WANT TO DANCE IT’S OK is a critical exploration into the erasing of our identities, the construction of anonymity and the consequent consent to let others depict and define our presence within society. The process relies on the use of a shopper bag, which is at the same time a symbol for disposability and consumerism, turning our faces into a cheap product ready to be quickly consumed and disposed. The face of the bag wearer is then depicted by rubbing a marker onto the plastic that covers the face, allowing the person that draws to make decisions on how to portray the face of the wearer, but at the same time forcing his or her choices to the features of the subject. The result is a floating collection of rubbed shopping bags, once worn and then disposed.


IF YOU WANT TO DANCE IT’S OK illustrates the thin line that separates failure and success, special and weird, normal and anonymous, consumed and disposed, me and you.


A project by Giovanni Innella and Sayuri Kurotsu

Year: 2019