Powerless Japan


Art world people love to talk about themselves, and – in this silly hierarchical world of invented distinction and value – nothing is more exciting that working out the rankings of who’s who—and who is the most important. In Art Review’s recently published global top 100 it turns out that it certainly not artists who are the most important people in art. In fact, they only make up about 20% of the list, which is headed by a curator/critic (Hans Ulrich Obrist), and dominated by art dealers and curators. I personally am glad to find out that talking about art is more important than doing it.

The other interesting thing about the list is how much it illustrates how scarcely global the “global” art world really is. It is, first and foremost, a small self-appointed Anglocentric network (over half Americans and Brits), with a solidly Eurocentric outer ring. And that’s it. The list, scandalously, manages to mention only three Asians, two Latin Americans, and one (south) African. The global hype for years now has been Asian: the reality is that Asia is just a colonial playground for all these globally networked Westerners to collect frequent flyer miles and make money.

And where is the Japanese art world in all this? All those world class museums, and cutting edge artists? Nowhere to be seen, of course, except for one star exception: You Know Who™, nestling at a very impressive number 17 on the list. Just four places behind his hero, Jeff Koons, and way ahead of the other playboys of the Western art world, Damien Hirst and Maurizio Cattelan. This placing surely marks a peak in the career of Takashi Murakami, who was also the only artist nominated in Time magazine’s most influential persons list of 2008.

Congratulations, then, but it does raise the question of why Art Review sees Murakami as so powerful. Visible yes; ubiquitous to saturation point, even. But “powerful”? What exactly is his influence? It is surely not the “soft power” of his ideas about Superflat and Japanese pop culture, which no-one except ageing otaku bureaucrats in the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs takes seriously as either a geo-political or economic weapon. And it is also surely not his bubbly and oh-so-2007 notions about commercialism and branding in art, which are at best second hand Koons, if not third hand Warhol, and now as dead as a Lehman Brothers associate leaping out of a 67th floor window at Roppongi Hills. Back in Japan, where Murakami craves recognition most of all, his empire lacks a foundation. Only foreigners who know nothing about Japanese contemporary art take his attempts to create a “school” with Geisai or Kaikai Kiki seriously, and younger artists are moving away from his 1990s visions in their art and practice. And when he steps up on stage with the glitzy white toothed folks from Hollywood or the Upper East Side, alongside the likes of Marc Jacobs and Kanye West, he sometimes looks like a little boy lost, with that baseball cap and fake hip hop moves...

Or is all just about the money? What about the art? In a recent interview, Paul Schimmel told me that Murakami’s most important legacy will be the “stock of images” that his ventures into anime production as art will produce. Others think his dabbling in Hollywood cartoons may be his financial and aesthetic ruin. In fact, in his recent openings, he seems to have turned back if anything to his most impressive achievements as an artist: the minutely produced, epic nihonga influenced wall paintings, such as the recent work on show at Gagosian in New York, as seen in Mario A’s recent blog on this:

There has to be more to power than laughing your way through another New York cocktail party, or raging at your art studio employees when they screw up a happy flower painting. Where do you go from here? Perhaps that was what the great silver Oval Buddha at his 2008-2009 world tour/retrospective was thinking, perched high on its mushroom. Sitting at number 17, there is not so much further up to go. But it is a long way down.



正しい。 この種類のリストに追加するために、誰もいません。 しかし、私は、私のポイントがかろうじて anglo-american artworld文脈 これの「パワー」自身の観念に質問する必要があると思います。

2009/11/08 01:47
どんな日本のアーティストがするか このリストにひどく追加するので?

2009/11/07 10:07



louboutin outlet
Powerless Japan
投稿元 : louboutin outlet / 2013年05月20日04:41





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