Posts tagged ‘Japan’

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

September 9, 2012

Approaching Whiteness | Performance with Rinko Kawauchi

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Rinko Kawauchi is recognized for masterful editing and sequencing of her images and has generated a rich body of photobooks. In response to this, presenting her photography as a sequence of frames on a scroll — a form with a rich history in Japan — is a new photobook form for the photographer that draws out some of the ideas at the core of her work. The sequence of frames flow from right to left and connote the passage of time as an uninterrupted sequence. This idea extends to a larger philosophy that all things are connected.

Approaching Whiteness presents nine different sequences that each focus on a specific theme. Participants choose a scroll and selected a pattern to be silkscreened onto the underside of the scroll. Once the pattern had been printed onto the scroll, the title was written in brushstroke by a calligrapher. The photographer then stamped her seal onto the scroll before placing the object into a custom-made box and handing it to the participant. The entire process, including the silkscreening, was carried out inside the Photographers’ Gallery while the participants watched.

Total Edition: 300 scrolls

Scroll:
Height: 220 mm, Width: 2.1 meters
Recto: Digital Printing by Edition Works, Tokyo
Japanese paper by Awagami
The scroll wraps around a Katsura pole with a diameter of 44mm and 236mm in length.

Box:
66 x 66 x 255 mm, Paulownia wood
Laser-cut lettering

Approaching Whiteness is a production by Ivan Vartanian / Goliga.

September 8, 2012

Shishi-Odori | Deer Dance




Oshu Kanatsu-Ryu Shishi-Odori Dance Troupe perform @ Bernie Spain Gardens, London (2012).

Shishi-Odori is a popular folk performing art in the Tohoku (north-east) region of Japan, an area struck by the Great East Japan Earthquake last year.

In the performance, dancers beat a taiko drum hung at the waist, wear carved wooden shishi-gashira (deer mask) adorned with real deer horns and carry long sasara on their backs. Handed down from generation to generation, Shishi-Odori is performed as both a way of expressing respect towards nature and praying for the repose of ancestors’ souls.

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.

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 7, 2012

PROVOKE | Daido Moryiama

© Daido Moriyama. Selection of images from the Provoke era.

February 6, 2012

PROVOKE | Manifesto

Vol. 3 Provoke (Aug '69).

The image by itself is not a thought. It cannot possess a wholeness like that of a concept. Neither is it an interchangeable code like a language. Yet its irreversible materiality—the reality that is cut out by the camera—constitutes the opposite side of language, and for this reason at times it stimulates the world of language and concepts. When this happens, language transcends its fixed and conceptualized self, transforming into a new language, and therefore a new thought. 

At this singular moment—now—language loses its material basis—in short its reality—and drifts in space, we photographers must go on grasping with our own eyes those fragments of reality that cannot possibly be captured with existing language, actively putting forth materials against language and against thought. Despite some reservations, this is why we have given Provoke the subtitle “provocative materials for thought.”   (Nakahira & Taki 1968)