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チェックと日本の現代美術界についての感想

Nara's LP collection

2010年1月27日


I have been helping Miwako Tezuka, curator at the Asia Society museum in New York City, with background work for the major exhibition of Nara’s work she is planning there this autumn. As I’ve written before, there is plenty of reason to think 2010 will be a good year for Nara.

The subject has been Yoshitomo Nara’s music tastes, which he writes about regularly in his blog and in books such as his autobiographical diaries, The Little Star Dweller. Tezuka’s show will place Nara’s work in the context of worldwide popular music culture – and the street culture connected to it – taking him out of the tired neo-japoniste frame he tends to attract via his association with Superflat and otaku art. I may be critical sometimes of too much otaku art, but when it comes to rock music I am for sure a bona fide music otaku, with the same affliction as Nara. A collection of hundreds of old LPs and piles of CDs that are the soundtrack to everything I do.

So Tezuka has been asking me what I think about Nara’s LP collection, and how highlights can be selected. We all know he draws and paints with loud music on. But where does he fit in to a music fan’s view of the world? The one word label “punk”, which Nara loves to use, turns out to be much more of an attitude thing than a narrow definition. Nara, who recently turned 50, stretches back with his vinyl tastes unsurprisingly to the late 1960s when he turned 20. There is a strong showing in his lists for post-Woodstock alt country and long haired rebel rock (Neil Young, or The Band, for example). Then in the mid-70s to late 70s, there is the obligatory turn to glam and then punk (via Roxy Music, Iggy Pop, Bowie, New York Dolls, Ramones, to Sex Pistols and The Clash). So far, so good. From then on, he becomes a regular college radio alternative/indie fan, and his record collection starts looking a lot like mine. There is very little Japanese music to be found in the list. Maybe no-one had heard of Cornelius in Germany. And while his earlier preferences are dominated by American and Canadian greats, later ones show a great deal more interest in English bands. I was particularly delighted to see a strong showing for XTC, The Smiths, Echo & The Bunnymen, and more recently PJ Harvey, Pulp and Radiohead. Its where he gets a lot of titles for his work. Tezuka wants to trace the trajectory further. With Nara coming home to Japan, embracing collective art group methods, and engaging in the ambitious shows in his home region that have toured the world as A to Z, Nara’s punk attitude has turned to a kind of rice eating, communal, rebel-folk sensitivity. He wants to be an artist of the people.

The question is: what does the connection of art and pop music all mean? Tezuka sees it very much as part of his populist appeal, with the key thing being the emotion it conveys to viewers – a universal, global appeal, and something which distances it from the detached irony of Superflat and its very Japan-specific references. But at the same time it is impossible to detach Nara from his otaku generation roots. This is an obsessive, regressive art that refuses to grow up or leave the music behind, and makes a sweet and beautiful virtue out of it. Isn’t that why we all have these record collections? Our music in little packages can take us back wherever we want to go by just putting on a track?

And why do we all love Nara’s pictures so much? Don’t Fight It Feel It. Look at this one. An angry girl on a rock ‘n’ roll loudspeaker. They all remind us of someone, I suppose.

ADRIAN FAVELL
http://www.adrianfavell.com

みんなからのコメント

notのIm すべての一部 。 私は、斜面がろうそくをビルワッターソンに保持することが、貧しい説明であると思います。 奈良の音楽味のような音は彼の写真と同じくらい一般的です

http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=bill+watterson&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

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Motus Fort
2010/01/27 20:34

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