Posts tagged ‘Tate’

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.

October 23, 2011

A different kind of performance: Tacita Dean

This is a quick test, messing around trying to get to grips with iMovie……still a lot to learn!


FILM is an 11-minute silent 35mm film by Tacita Dean, projected onto a gigantic white monolith standing 13 metres tall at the end of a darkened Turbine Hall. It is the first work in The Unilever Series devoted to the moving image, and celebrates the masterful techniques of analogue film-making as opposed to digital. The work evokes the monumental mysterious black monolith from the classic science fiction film 2001: A Space Odyssey. The film feels like a surreal visual poem, including images from the natural world among others, with the epic wall of the Turbine Hall showing through, in a montage of black and white, colour, and hand-tinted film.

Tacita Dean is a British artist now based in Berlin, best known for her use of film. Dean’s films act as portraits or depictions rather than conventional cinematic storytelling, capturing fleeting natural light or subtle shifts in movement. Her static camera positions and long takes allow events to unfold unhurriedly. Other works have attempted to reconstruct events from memory, such as an infamous thwarted attempt to circumnavigate the world.

Many of Dean’s works show the ways in which architecture can be transformed by the camera’s lens. Craneway Event 2009 follows the choreographer Merce Cunningham (1919–2009) and his dance company rehearsing in a former Ford assembly plant, built of glass and steel and overlooking the San Francisco Bay. Dean’s film allows the ever-changing light of this environment to fall in rhythm with the dancers’ movements.

Read more here.