Performativity in Japanese Art
28.11.08 — 01.02.09
OPENING: THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 27, AT 6 P.M.
The Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève is proud to present “Between Art And Life. Performativity In Japanese Art”, a group exhibition including Atelier Bow-Wow, Taro Izumi, Yayoi Kusama, Yasumasa Morimura, Yoko Ono, Takako Saito, Tomoko Sawada, Shimabuku and Rikuo Ueda.
The vast area of interdisciplinary and multimedia collaborations that we call “performance art” (1) has a history that covers over a hundred years, from the early actions of the Dada artists to the engaged performances of the 1960s and 1970s. The special re-mergence of the discipline in the post-world war two period, described by American artist Robert Rauschenberg as a desire to “mind the gap between art and life” was, crucially, characterized by an interest in society and everyday life, bringing the spectator into the art work, and thus the art work into life.
Japan today is a pivotal part of the renewed interest internationally for the live arts. Various generations of artists are re-thinking the history of performance and what is known as performative art.
Given its unique history in the field of performance art, Japan is particularly well placed regarding the current renaissance in the field. Urban groups such as High Red Centre and Gutai, active from the 1950s onwards, were pivotal in re-engaging art with society and the citizen.
On an individual basis artists such as Yoko Ono, Yayoi Kusama, Shigeko Kubota, Mieko Shiomi, Takako Saito, who moved to New York in the 1960s, helped define the nature of performance art, particularly its relation to the body, and other media such as video and music.
The exhibition “Between Art And Life. Performativity in Japanese Art” presents the work of an emerging generation of artists born in Japan, whose practice engages with the national and world heritage of performance and performativity. The exhibition selection is necessarily subjective. It does not seek to define an entire nation through its cultural production; nor does it maintain that performance is the only worth-while artistic practice in Japan today. “Between Art And Life. Performativity In Japanese Art” has the specific task to showcase the work of some of the most dynamic artists from Japan across different generations, some of whom are even based outside of their country and thus are engaging with a new set of cultural traditions. In particular, the exhibition showcases an area of artistic practice which is vitally contributing to the cultural energy experienced in Japan and reverberating around the world today.
(1) Performance is an art that has sprung from the enormous stockpile of cross-dialogues between film, theatre, architecture, dance, sculpture, painting, video, drawing, actions and music. In particular performance art has throughout its history been interested in showcasing the experiential, opening different kinds of engagement with meaning, transgressing the norm, questioning the art product and activating the spectator.
Save the date
Exhibition: 28.11.08 — 01.02.09
Opening: 27.11.2008 at 6 p.m.