Subversion of the Everyday: Ritual Performance Art in the 1960s Japan
Discussion

The performative art making by the early Gutai group in the late 1950s is already part of world art history.

However, there is little knowledge and awareness that other Japanese artists created more than 400 performances throughout the 1960s. Some started doing performances as a demonstration of avant-garde art for the mass media or as improvisations of object based sound. But more importantly, others used performance as a way to critique the invisible control of everyday life after the collapse of the anti-Anpo (the Japan-US Security Treaty signed in 1952) resistance struggle in 1960 - a societal control that was overshadowed by the successful economic development of Japan at the time. They dared to perform in streets or other public spaces instead of in galleries, on stages, or in private spaces; they dared to disturb the routine of ‘cleansed’ urban spaces, and thus reveal the absurdity of the fantasy of the ‘Progress and Harmony’ slogan advocated in the Osaka Expo ’70. Among these artists, ‘Ritual’ performances by Zero Jigen (Zero Dimension) most daringly challenged both ‘contemporary art’ as a part of international (=Western) art, and the modern technological control of the mind, finally leading to the formation of the Expo Destruction Joint-Struggle Group in 1969.

This research by Zero Jigen and its allies of anti-art tendencies will re-map art practices in the 1960s in Japan as a counter-attack to urbanization and Westernization which must be understood in the context of the exploration of indigenous modernity in Asian and other non-Western art in general.

See also:

Other archival events from that cycle:

18:00 Lecture Subversion of the Everyday: Ritual Performance Art in the 1960s JapanA lecture by Kuroda Raiji Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, Emilia Pavilion
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
18:00 Seminar Video Screening of performance art in the 1960s JapanA meeting with André Lepecki and Kuroda Raiji Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, Emilia Pavilion
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
18:00 Lecture Brazilian Performance Art, 1960s to 1980s: An Aesthetics of the MarginsA lecture by Claudia Calirman Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, Emilia Pavilion
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
18:00 Seminar Case Study: Antonio Manuel’s Body Art and Media AppropriationA seminar by Claudia Calirman Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, Small Auditorium
Pańska 3, Warsaw
18:00 Lecture From first Portuguese Performance Art to Transmission A lecture by Verónica Metello Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, Emilia Pavilion
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
18:00 Seminar From first Portuguese Performance Art to Transmission MoMA, Varsóvia, 2015A seminar by Verónica Metello Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, Emilia Pavilion
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
18:00 Lecture Resilient Practices: A Few Case Studies on Performances in Public Spaces and their Controversies in the former Eastern Europe A lecture by Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, Emilia Pavilion
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw