2300yen 1drink in
スズキヤスコ Yasuko Suzuki ( pf,黒謡 KOKUYOH)
鳳聲晴久 (篠笛、能管 Haruhisa Housei Traditional japanese flute)
“Eien no Gishiki (Happening)”
This scene is the embodiment of the “action-behavior” style performed by Japanese artists leading the Japanese avant-garde art movement “Neo-Dada” (1960s), and the scene reflects the fact that the radio play “Pour en Finir avec le Jugement de Dieu” by Artaud, whom I greatly respect, is a source for this performing art.
At the time, more emphasis was placed on actions that make use of one’s physical body than on the process of creating a performance. I believe that, as they were originally artists, they attempted to improve their works as exhibitions by pursuing visual effects as formative artists, and there existed a number of approaches that would be difficult to call avant-garde art. (In the performance Hi Red Center in the 1960s, performers would apply white greasepaint to their faces, and stare at egg-shaped objects of art that were lit up by flashlights or lick train station platforms in the Yamanote Line, etc.)
However, it is thought that “Japanese anti-art performances” being “anarchy” was fundamentally a simple, strategic and political choice, as well as a humane, ethical stance, in which it is impossible to separate politics from raw truth.
There were also some sophisticated artists involved in the “anti-art performance” movement in the 1960s, and Japan’s representative architect Shusaku Arakawa presented avant-garde approaches that, through physical experience, drew awareness to the ordinary and extraordinary as well as the predestined abolishment of the contradictory states of life and death by printing the concept of “Architectural Body” on “toilet paper.” In “Nagi’s Ryoanji,” he installed park equipment (horizontal bars, seesaws, etc.) in a rock garden, and the work of art questions perceptions invoked by childhood games and fixed art concepts. Following the avant-garde art movement in Japan, Shusaku Arakawa moved to New York in the early 1960s, where he was greatly influenced by Marcel Duchamp, Taro Okamoto, John Cage and Andy Warhol.
The tape of Artaud’s “Pour en Finir avec le Jugement de Dieu” is a creative experiment that includes the aspects of text, physical bodies and media. It is a pioneer effort in avant-garde performance. In addition, while tempering his own eccentricities, Artaud persisted in trying to bring out the madness in Europe, which had just gone through a massive war, and I believe that this work is the essence of those thoughts.