Morimura in Hiroshima


My blog has slowed to a snail's pace these last couple of months (I've been writing my shinsho, nearly ready I promise!!), so for a change, here is some real time writing. I'm sitting in Hotel Flex, Hiroshima, and I just had the most amazing dinner of sashimi, kaki, and boiled hatahata with tofu, plus a couple of local sakes. I got chatting in Japanenglish to my neighbours at the bar, and you could see the gaijin anxiety of the restaurant staff melt away as I ordered my first oolong high and broke open my hashi to start ... It all helped me digest the new Yasumasa Morimura show that opened tonight at Hiroshima MOCA.

Curator Yukie Kamiya invited me along while I've been down south taking in the Setouchi Festival this past week. I already saw the first version of this touring show at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, and I am convinced it is a major statement by Morimura. A really quite brilliant show. Of all the big names in Japan, he has been the slowest for me to really appreciate. I really do not find the art historical copy cat musings, or the gay iconography of much of his earlier photographic work, very interesting. Its all so 1990s, Cindy Sherman, and far too academic (and that's saying something coming from a Sociology Professor).

But since he started his Requiem for the Twentieth Century series, it is clear that Morimura has found his true subject. His work has always been technically stunning. How does he do it?, is the most obvious comment. With the move to video and performance, the work gained new dimensions. In tackling the massive subjects of war, dictatorship, international workers struggles, post-conflict memory and the relation of Japan to the US, he has found a palette for his ideas that takes the work up to another level. His Hitler/Chaplin video and the Lenin workers' speech, filmed with homeless old men paid as extras from the streets of Osaka, are simply stunning works.

All history is experienced from the subjective point of view. None of us were there, we are not Zelig characters, even if we feel we know world history from the flow of television news or school textbooks. Yet Morimura transcends this by inhabiting history with his own persona, moulding his body and face to the memory and texts of historical characters that live in all of our minds. Again, it is simply not clear how he does this. I just saw his video reprise of the famous Atsuko Takaka denkifuku performance from the Gutai early days. This is one of his art historical pieces, but crucially its a piece of Japanese art history and therefore so much less fake than his Rembrandts and Picassos. Its a 2010 reprise of a 1996 photo. As video, with the extraordinary performance, choreography, colour and sound, you cannot but help thinking you are now watching a masterpiece.

The Yokohama opening was full of people from the city. I was the only caucasian among at least 250 people; as usual, the world press had failed to show. I was hoping to run into one or two Tokyo faces, but there was just Morimura's ardent gallerist Shugo Satani and producer Makoto Sanno in evidence. Morimura looked quite uncomfortable as various city dignataries were introduced to make speeches in his honour. He also made some long speeches himself.

He led a talk of the masses through the galleries. I caught a bit of a translation from Yukie Kamiya. Morimura likes talking and is a good raconteur, but as always, I feel artists say so much more when they don't talk or write so much about it. Morimura's work is clever, but its the instinctive aspects of his performances and ideas that really make his work special.

Satani told me that there are no plans to show this work internationally. Its a real shame. This is a fabulous show, en route now only for Kobe, after Hiroshima, Toyota and Tokyo. Why is this work not being seen in Europe and America? The Japanese art world needs to try harder to get the message out, and not be satisfied with major touring shows in provincial Japanese cities.

Gambatte ne!





カシオ 時計
投稿元 : カシオ 時計 / 2013年06月07日17:15

投稿元 : SEIKO / 2013年06月07日17:15

投稿元 : CASIO / 2013年06月07日17:15

投稿元 : カシオ腕時計 / 2013年06月07日17:15





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