Archive for ‘MAPJD’

January 7, 2013

RIP | Shomei Tomatsu

Shomei Tomatsu
 
I was sad to learn today that Shomei Tomatsu has died.  Tomatsu was a major influence on the Provoke generation of Japanese photographers.

These young photographers, such as Takuma Nakahira and Daido Moriyama, developed a freewheeling, highly expressionistic visual style that seemed to push the individual photographic image to the edge of descriptive incoherence. Tomatsu was a proponent of this approach, though not quite as extreme as some. The important thing about the whole group, and Tomatsu also, was that the rough-hewn tone of the imagery was not simply a style or an aesthetic, but a means of registering an attitude toward the world, a stance of defiance and political protest.

Read the rest of the BJP obituary here: http://www.bjp-online.com/british-journal-of-photography/news/2234262/japanese-photography-legend-shomei-tomatsu-has-died#ixzz2HJDEXWCi

December 24, 2012

HAVE A RIOTOUS TIME!

RAMPAGE | The Performance of Violence and the Theatre of Protest
RAMPAGE | The Performance of Violence and the Theatre of Protest http://www.riotofspring.wordpress.com

December 14, 2012

New Project | RAMPAGE

ExhibitionGuide

My lastest project, Rampage, is an experimental exploration of dance and news photography with sound to create a conceptual art installation (a series of projected images and slideshow). Inspired by William Marotti’s text Japan 1968: The Performance of Violence and the Theatre of Protest (about the student riots in Japan during this year) I focus on the present day social landscape, particularly the riots in the UK last year.

Influenced by Japanese avant-garde culture of the late 1960s and early 1970s – in particular, the Provoke group of photographers working in Japan at that time. Published in 1968, Provoke magazine is most often associated with a generation of photographers searching for a radical visual language to abolish the perception of photography as document; their images were often grainy and blurred (are-buke-buke), exemplifying their willingness to discard information.

For more info, visit the Rampage blog www.riotofspring.wordpress.com

CREDITS:

Sound Artist: Tim Bamber

Dancers: Anastasia Papaeleftheriadou and Catarina Trota

May 22, 2012

Masao Adachi | A.K.A. Serial Killer (1969)

Continuing my research into the politicised aesthetic of Japanese film and photography in the late 60s, I have discovered (through the art of Eric Baudelaire) Masao Adachi’s ‘landscape theory’ as demostrated in A.K.A. Serial Killer  – could this be a potential avenue to explore?

Masao Adachi & Kôji Wakamatsu, both having ties to the Japanese Red Army, stopped in Lebanon on their way home from the Cannes festival. There they caught up with notorious JRA ex-pats Fusako Shigenobu and Mieko Toyama in training camps to create a newsreel-style agit-prop film based off of the “landscape theory” (fûkeiron) that Adachi and Wakamatsu had developed. The theory, most evident at work in A.K.A. Serial Killer (1969), aimed to move the emphasis of film from situations to landscapes as expression of political and economical power relations.

In 1974 Adachi left Japan and committed himself to the Palestinian Revolution and linked up with the Japan Red Army. His activities thereafter were not revealed until he was arrested and imprisoned in 1997 in Lebanon. In 2001 Adachi was extradited to Japan, and after two years of imprisonment, he was released and subsequently published Cinema/Revolution [Eiga/Kakumei], an auto-biographical account of his life.

May 14, 2012

Irreversible Materiality | Rethink

Pure Extraction is an experimental multimedia piece from my Rethink project.  You can read about the projects gestation on the project blog.

You can also view reference images here.

April 1, 2012

SONIC | Duets

March 24, 2012

The Trial | Shuji Terayama

As part of my research for the Vietnam & Rethink projects,  I went to the ‘I Am a Terayama Shuji‘ symposium at Tate Modern yesterday.  It ended in a presentation of two of Terayama’s live action works bridging cinema and performance with the participation of Terayama’s original collaborator Henrikku Morisaki.  The Trial (1975) begins with a man hammering nails into a city street before normal social order collapses and the ‘disturbance’ spreads to an act of violent audience participation.  Terayama made this work for projection on a specially constructed screen and provides white leader at the end as an invitation for audience members to abandon their position as spectators and take possession of their own energies, hammering nails into the surface of the image (see images above).

Questions were an important part of the work of Shūji Terayama(1935–1983) whose striking creative work exists in a liminal space between fact and imagination. Terayama’s career recalls an eerie tale of Japanese folklore in which a face shifts to become a different face. An acclaimed filmmaker, poet, radio and stage dramatist, essayist, photographer and horseracing tipster (with no less than eight volumes of commentary to his name) Terayama was, in the words of theatre critic Akihiko Senda, ‘the eternal avant-garde’.

In an era when Japan’s underground was reaching a fever pitch, Terayama was a crucial player in a complex network of creative expression, encompassing such counter-cultural legends as singer Akihiro Miwa, photographer Daido Moriyama and graphic artist Tadanori Yokoo.

As a tribute to this ‘many-headed’ artist, Tate have curated an astonishing film and video programme of his trailblazing shifts through varied media and performance; Terayama always made work that was interrelated, often producing visionary and unexpected outcomes in whatever his chosen form.  You can find out more here.

February 19, 2012

Interview | Eikoh Hosoe

February 19, 2012

Kamaitachi | Eikoh Hosoe


All images © Eikoh Hosoe

Eikoh Hosoe’s long association with the revolutionary performance movement butoh came about through his encounter in 1959 with one of its founders, Tatsumi Hijikata. Hosoe collaborated with Hijikata on several series including Kamaitachi, which is acknowledged as the finest illustration of Hosoe’s hybrid photographic style, combining performance and documentary with a dramatic, virile aesthetic that embodies the founding principles of Hijikata’s ankoku butoh or ‘dance of darkness’.  The dramatic and intense energy that Hijikata generated with his dance not only captured Hosoe’s imagination but also opened up new ways for the young photographer to approach themes such as sexuality, gender and the human body.

Driven by the desire to re-enact his childhood memories when he was evacuated from Tokyo during World War Two, Hosoe had Hijikata perform kamaitachi, the legendary weasel-like demon that haunted the rice paddies in the extremely sparse, rural landscape of the Tohoku region from where they both came. Fusing reality (Hijikata interacting with the landscape and village people) and performance, Hosoe’s ‘subjective documentary’ series opened new ground in Japanese post-war photography.

February 14, 2012

SONIC | Ballroom