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チェックと日本の現代美術界についての感想

Noi Sawaragi on GEISAI

2010年2月5日


More debate surely is needed about Noi Sawaragi's interesting overview in ART-iT here of the 2000s in Japanese art. While most of the essay displayed his usual sharp edge, it was alarming to see the uncritical and exaggerated assessment of Murakami's Geisai organisation. As I have argued in several past blogs, we need to take a careful look at the significance and consequences of Murakami's attempt to "revolutionise" the art education and art market system in Japan – an effect that has been much more damaging and exploitative than Sawaragi suggests.

http://www.art-it.asia/u/rhqiun/y0k4HsKjgC39ZAJ6SaGw/

Geisai was copied from the larger Design Festa model, transforming that show’s “punk rock” anything goes attitude with a reality TV style talent contest which offers a promise of success to thousands of young hopeful artists. It charges these often penniless artists rates per day that are not far off kaisha gara rates in Ginza, often in excess of 100,000Yen. Even then they have to pay for extra electricity or spare chairs as they set up their booths. If they are lucky they might get a two second walk-by viewing from a foreign curator judge in town Tokyo on an all expenses paid holiday. Geisai seduces these young artists with the idea that, with Murakami sensei, they don’t need art education to get a break. It is a very damaging, romantic illusion.

Sawaragi writes that Geisai “despite being derided from the start as ‘little more than a street bazaar’, ultimately must be credited with unearthing more unknown talent than any officially sanctioned biennale, triennale, art prize or such like, and offering these up-and-coming talents real opportunities”. Even viewed generously this is a blatant exaggeration. Those very few artists who it did help discover – for example Erina Matsui, or Yasuyuki Nishio, both now (not coincidentally) with Yamamoto Gendai – were artists who had already been through a strong art school training. It is very likely they would have succeeded with or without Geisai. Matsui wisely declined to join the Kaikai Kiki factory in favour of further formal art training and an independent career. And Murakami himself is a consummate product of Tokyo University of the Arts and the outstanding cohort of students he shared ideas and training with in the late 1990s.

http://www.art-it.asia/u/rhqiun/HAledbG6CkXOfTyohMaB/

Geisai is an amateur art show, nothing more or less - a view shared by a one time judge at the event, Los Angeles MOCA’s Paul Schimmel. It is a great personal vehicle for Murakami, however, and it certainly provides him with a media platform in Tokyo after having cut so many of his relations with the Tokyo art world that made him. Sawaragi should not be perpetuating the myth but exploring how and why Geisai has been used very consciously as a part of Murakami’s art practice. And spare a thought for the many losers at Geisai. After emptying their pockets of their savings, Geisai takes their combined enthusiasm and hopes and uses it promotionally to further glorify Murakami’s image internationally. At the recent Pop Life show in London Geisai itself was being presented and theorised in a video installation as another one of Murakami’s ironic “works of art”, in line with his other post-Warholian “factory” products. Another triumph for the Wizard of Oz.

Sawaragi's article is here:
http://www.art-it.asia/u/admin_columns/KGFt0SIjbf6VJcrDXkZM/

ADRIAN FAVELL
http://www.adrianfavell.com

みんなからのコメント

このものへの感謝。 私は、その時 ほとんどの人々想像 Murakostabiがいっそう悪いことに合意します。 私はジャパンソサエティで思い出し、シンポジウムHEの終わりまでに呼び出しLittleBOYでした

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Owl
2010/02/06 14:27

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Noi Sawaragi on GEISAI
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