Palais des Beaux-Arts, Cage video by Taka imura

10 avril – 7 juin 2015
Palais des Beaux-Arts
Visite presse

contre avec Marja Bloem autour de Seth Siegelaub à 17h
Vernissage à 18h
Après le Prologue de l’exposition ≪ Pliure ≫ à la Fondation Calouste Gulbenkian de Paris, Paulo Pires do Vale et les Beaux-Arts de Paris proposent un Épilogue au sein du Palais des Beaux-Arts. Les oeuvres contemporaines de l’exposition s’allient à une sélection d’oeuvres issues de la collection de l’école, à un focus autour de l’éditeur Seth Siegelaub et à une présentation de projets de jeunes diplômés de l’école au sein de l’espace qui leur est consacré, le Belvédère.
L’exposition Pliure est un essai sur le livre et ≪la somme infinie de ses possibles≫ (Blanchot). Elle donne à voir le potentiel du livre, en relation permanente avec le geste artistique, et de quelle façon l’art se transforme à l’épreuve du livre et le livre se transforme à l’épreuve de l’art.
Dans l’exposition, le livre devient un laboratoire d’expériences esthétiques -et le canal même de ces expériences. Exposition ni rétrospective, ni historique, ≪ Pliure ≫ ne prétend pas embrasser tout un thème ou prouver une théorie mais essaie plutôt de montrer comment l’espace du livre provoque l’art.
Le terme ≪ pliure ≫ renvoie, d’une part à une action (et même à une fonction spécifique dans l’ancienne imprimerie), d’autre part à la marque laissée par cette action et au pli que cette action imprime sur le papier. La pliure est mémoire et conséquence du geste. Par la pliure, le livre s’ouvre ou se ferme, se révèle ou se cache. Par elle, quelque chose d’inattendu émerge de l’autre côté de la page. C’est ce mystère qui caractérise le livre.
≪ Pliure ≫ interroge et élargit notre conception traditionnelle du livre et de l’oeuvre, avec la certitude que, comme le disait Mallarmé, ≪Il n’est d’explosion qu’un livre≫.
Avec les oeuvres de Ignasi AballÍ, Bas Jan Ader, Eric Baudelaire, Alejandro Cesarco, Eléonore False, Hugo Fortin, Mélanie Feuvrier, Fernanda Fragateiro, Dora Garcia, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Rodney Graham, Takahiko Iimura,
posted by taka at 02:04| news



飯村隆彦のビデオパフォーマンスの先駆となった「Outside & Inside」(1970年)が
45年ぶりに再編/再演されます。(以下、下段の青字部分、T.I Video News)

TTM:IGNITION BOX(イグニションボックス)2015/2/7
2015年2月7日(土) 14:00-17:30会場: 東京都庭園美術館 新館 ギャラリー2
posted by taka at 16:23| Comment(0) | TrackBack(0) | news


Circle the Square/ Film Performances by Iimura Takahiko in the 1960s | post.webarchive

Circle the Square: Film Performances by Iimura Takahiko in the 1960s

By Julian Ross Posted on September 19, 2013
Performance’s only life is in the present. Performance cannot be saved, recorded, documented, or otherwise participate in the circulation of representations of representations: once it does so, it becomes something other than performance. −Peggy Phelan

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Figures 1–6 are scans of what remains of Circle & Square, performed at LUX in London on the October 13, 2003, by Iimura Takahiko. Try clicking sideways and then back again.

Figures 1–6
Scroll through using the arrows at the bottom of the gallery. Click on the two-headed arrows to show detailed image descriptions.

Figure 1. Iimura Takahiko. Circle & Square, section of loop-film. 2003. Section of loop-film for LUX performance. October 13, 2003.

Figure 2. Iimura Takahiko. Circle & Square, section of loop-film. 2003. Section of loop-film for LUX performance. October 13, 2003.

Figure 3. Iimura Takahiko. Circle & Square, section of loop-film. 2003. Section of loop-film for LUX performance. October 13, 2003.

Figure 4. Iimura Takahiko. Circle & Square, section of loop-film. 2003. Section of loop-film for LUX performance. October 13, 2003.

Figure 5. Iimura Takahiko. Circle & Square, section of loop-film. 2003. Section of loop-film for LUX performance. October 13, 2003.

Figure 6. Iimura Takahiko. Circle & Square, section of loop-film. 2003. Section of loop-film for LUX performance. October 13, 2003.

A black film leader pierced with holes is what we see when looking at the filmstrip today. What the audience saw, when it was incorporated into a performance, was something quite different. The filmstrip was looped through a hook in the ceiling and into a film projector at the back of the room. On the screen, circles of white light appeared as Iimura perforated the filmstrip with a hole puncher. The clicking sounds produced by the hole-punching operation could be heard over the buzzing of the projector. The white circles accumulated as the performance continued until finally Iimura punched one hole too many, and, after a final spin around the room, the filmstrip fell to the floor, leaving a white square on the screen at the front.

Beyond the Screen

“Film actions” is the term Iimura used to describe his film presentations during a Q&A held after a screening at Theatre Scorpio in Shinjuku in 1970.1 By then, Iimura had been engaging in alternative modes of film projection for almost a decade, seeking surfaces other than the screen for his images. Channeling a performative impulse and a resistance to institutional frameworks, he screened his films in galleries, gymnasiums, and churches and onto ceilings, balloons, and bodies. Frustrated with filmmakers’ persistent focus on recording, which led to their neglect of presentation, Iimura declared that “the screening is the first occasion where film as expression unfolds."2 He regarded screenings as opportunities to communicate with his audience and, in the case of collaborative works, with other artists. His desire for such encounters culminated in a series of film performances that reveal Iimura as a pioneer in seeking unconventional approaches to moving image presentation and a proponent of new methods for film exhibition. Iimura’s commitment to testing the limits of film while engaging with the specificities of the medium itself is most apparent in his experiments in film performance.

Searching for an alternative to the cinema screen, Iimura discovered the antithesis of that rigid fixed frame in human skin and the movement of the body it encases. Billed as a performance event, Sweet 16 was held at the Sogetsu Art Center December 3 to 5, 1963 (Fig. 7). Iimura was the only filmmaker on the program. He presented Screen Play, a projection of his abstract film Iro (Color, 1963) on the back of Takamatsu Jiro, a member of Hi Red Center (Fig. 8).3 Iro, a recording of chemical reactions concocted when paints are dropped into oil, is devoid of conventional modes of action or narrative. It encourages the audience to focus on the presence of the image rather than on what has been recorded. Iimura reportedly cut a square hole in Takamatsu’s jacket during the performance so that the film was projected directly onto his naked back while he sat between the stage and the audience, reading a newspaper (Fig. 9).4 Iimura’s rejection of the Sogetsu Art Center’s eminently serviceable stage and screen was all the more pronounced as Takamatsu sat between the stage and the audience reading a newspaper, apparently oblivious to the spectacle unfolding behind him.

In an essay about Tatsuki Yoshihiro’s nude photographs, Iimura commented that in contrast to objects, the naked body (ratai) renders words inefficient due to, in his words, “its overpowering visuality.”5 Rather than seeing the naked body as flesh (nikutai), Iimura suggests Japan has historically conceived of the body as a figure (keishi) in pictorial representations, and he traced the tradition from traditional Japanese woodcut prints, ukiyo-e, to Tatsuki’s photography. As we can see in Ai (Love, 1963) and his film performances, Iimura attempts to show the body as nikutai: corporeal and carnal (Fig. 10). The projection onto skin illuminates the body, serving to highlight−beyond any figural characteristics−its irreducibility.6

Figures 7–10

Figure 7. Sweet 16. 1963. Program notes cover design. December 4, 5, 1963.

Figure 8. Iimura Takahiko. Iro (Color), still. 1962. コピーライトマーク Iimura Takahiko. Courtesy the artist

Figure 9. Iimura Takahiko. Screen Play, photodocumentation of event. 2012. コピーライトマーク Iimura Takahiko. Courtesy the artist

Figure 10. Iimura Takahiko. Ai (Love), still. 1962. コピーライトマーク Iimura Takahiko

Continuing to eschew the screen, Iimura had his Circles piece projected onto spherical objects at Cross Talk Intermedia in February 1969 (Fig. 11).7 He was unable to attend but sent instructions for six 16mm projectors to project more than 20 loop-films onto three large inflated objects, accompanied by Alvin Lucier’s Sound Environment Mixtures, a recording made with a shotgun microphone that rotated on a 360-degree horizontal arc (Fig. 12). Iimura’s loop-films all showed the same image: a 360-degree pan of the view from a street corner (Fig. 13). The footage was shot specifically for the performance in order to echo the circularity of the Cross Talk Intermedia venue, the Yoyogi National Gymnasium. Although the choice of balloons as a surface for projection had become commonplace in expanded cinema of the United States and Japan, Iimura had expressed his interest in projecting onto spherical objects as early as 1963 in a short essay published to coincide with his performance of Screen Play. In rejection of its immobility and rigid geometry, Iimura substituted the screen with balloons and bodies to rejuvenate the image in the moment of projection.8

Figures 11–13

Figure 11. Cross Talk Intermedia. 1969. Flyer for Yoyogi National Stadium performance. February 5, 6, 7 1969.

Figure 12. Introductory text for Iimura Takahiko in Cross Talk Intermedia program notes by Matsumoto Toshio. コピーライトマーク Matsumoto Toshio. Courtesy the artist

Figure 13. Iimura Takahiko. Circles, photodocumentation of event. 1968. コピーライトマーク Iimura Takahiko. Courtesy the artist

Punching Holes into the Filmstrip

At the Expanded Art Festival, held at the Kishi Gymnasium in Shibuya on March 21 and 22, 1970, Iimura once again projected onto inflated objects for his performance Floating (Fig. 14–16).9 Reeling black film leader filmstrips into three 16mm projectors aimed at large black balloons made by sculptor Onishi Seiji, Iimura used a hole puncher to perforate the filmstrip. Light passing through the holes created circular flashes while the recorded sounds of speeches by Black Panther Party members played as the soundtrack (Fig. 17). The white flashes gradually increased until the voids created by the circular holes eventually caused the filmstrip to snap. In the absence of prerecorded footage, the act of film projection is reduced to its most bare-bones, purely mechanical form, revealing the common denominators of light and shadow. As such, the technical apparatus of cinema in this performance highlights its own existence, foregrounding the usually hidden mechanics of projection.

Figures 14–18

Figure 14. Furuzawa Toshimi. Exisupandedo Ato Fesutibaru: Modan Ato no Shuen - Kyoki no Seitosei (Expanded Art Festival: the End of Modern Art - the Legitimacy of Lunacy). 1970. Review of Expanded Art Festival in Eiga Hyoron. June 27, 1970.

Figure 15. Iimura Takahiko. Haku, photodocumentation of event. 1970. Photodocumentation of Expanded Art Festival performance by Atsugi Bonjin. コピーライトマーク Takahiko Iimura

Figure 16. Iimura Takahiko. Sakasu Komaba (Circus Komaba), photodocumentation of event. 1970. Photodocumentation of Expanded Art Festival performance by Kuni Chiya Dance Institute. コピーライトマーク Takahiko Iimura

Figure 17. Iimura Takahiko. Floating, photodocumentation of event. 1970. Photodocumentation of Expanded Art Festival performance. コピーライトマーク Iimura Takahiko

Figure 18. Installation of Dead Movie. 1964. Photograph by Iimura Takahiko

Iimura began to hole punch performatively in his first film installation, Dead Movie, 1964, in which two 16mm projectors, one with a black film leader hung and looped from the ceiling and another operating with no film, were placed against opposite walls and facing each other (Fig. 18).10 The hole punch, a destruction of material for the creation of light, was what Iimura called a "peep window" that invites our eyes through the film and onto the screen, or in the case of this installation, onto the projector positioned on the other side. He continued using the technique in works such as Circle & Square (1981), most recently performed in July 2013.

By 1970, the hole unch had become a recurring motif in Iimura’s films and presentations. In an essay on his film Onan (1963), Iimura outlined the work’s multiple versions (he re-edited the piece for each screening). Unusually for Iimura, this film has a narrative, and it concerns a young man overwhelmed with adolescent lust (Fig. 19). In the film’s fifth presentation, Iimura pierced the filmstrip with holes that bore no relationship to the images presented.11 In Shikan ni Tsuite (On Eye Rape, 1962), Iimura and Nakanishi Natsuyuki, member of Hi Red Center, had commented on the absurdity of censorship by punching holes and scratching onto a sex-education film Nakanishi found in a dustbin (Fig. 20). The perforations in On Eye Rape parody attempts to censor sexuality by the Japanese establishment with the blocking of the image by virtue of penetrating through film material. Although sexuality remained a key theme in his practice, Iimura’s concern shifted towards showing his audience the workings of the film apparatus as a reason for punching holes into his own work (Fig. 21–22). In his essay reflecting on Onan, he describes the act of hole punching as “less a destruction than a spotlight on the illusory nature of the image.”12 The sudden appearance and disappearance of a white circle of light encourages an awareness of the materiality of the filmstrip and the discrete nature of each frame. For Iimura, “Film is material first and only subsequently an image."13

Figures 19–22

Figure 19. Iimura Takahiko. Onan, still. 1963. コピーライトマーク Iimura Takahiko

Figure 20. Iimura Takahiko. Shikan ni Tsuite (On Eye Rape), still. 1962. コピーライトマーク Iimura Takahiko

Figure 21. Iimura Takahiko. Shelter 9999, photodocumentation of event. 1967. コピーライトマーク Takahiko Iimura. Courtesy the artist

Figure 22. Iimura Takahiko. Circle & Square, photodocumentation of event at Millennium, New York. 1981. コピーライトマーク Iimura Takahiko

Introduction to Intermedia

By the time Iimura moved to New York in 1966, he had been experimenting with expanded modes of projection for several years.14 He was deeply inspired by New York’s underground film scene and the emerging artistic discourses of intermedia and expanded cinema, which he felt were closely related to his practice. That December, he reported what he had encountered in the United States in the journal Eiga Hyoron (Film Criticism), in what was to be the first text to introduce intermedia to Japan. In the article, he discussed recent works by Stan VanDerBeek, Robert Whitman, and the media art collective USCO that he had seen at the New York Film Festival and that represented what he understood to be the new wave of American independent film. Earlier that same year, Dick Higgins had highlighted the space between distinct media as a neglected field and pointed to its exploration as a potential source of stimulation in the arts.15 Channeling aspects of Higgins’s interpretation, Iimura described intermedia as “the expansion, combination, or dare I say the copulation of media.”16 Although their descriptions share many characteristics, Iimura departs from Higgins’s theory in one crucial way. Whereas Higgins resists attaching the concept of intermedia to any artistic movement or genre,17 Iimura regards it as synonymous with what is known as “expanded cinema”18−in other words, he sees it as intrinsically linked to cinema and the film medium. Iimura’s essay, along with his own works, had a significant influence on the way intermedia was to be received in Japan, as seen in the preponderance of underground filmmakers represented in the lineup for Runami Gallery’s Intermedia event on May 23–28, 1967, and the abundance of slide and moving-image projection in the events that were later billed in Japan as intermedia.19

In the United States, Iimura was stimulated to discover multiple projectors used in art that he regarded as intermedia. Multiple projection, which Iimura saw as “an escape from the impasse of linear approaches to projection and something that demands an active engagement from the audience,”20 was a technique that he employed in his own presentations. In Lilliput Okoku Butokai No. 2 (Dance Party in the Kingdom of Lilliput No. 2, 1966), Iimura projected two versions of the original Dance Party in the Kingdom of Lilliput (1964) onto two screens placed side by side (Fig. 23).21 One of the projections showed a re-edited version, with scenes randomly rearranged, removed, or scratched. The presentation, which Iimura equated to concrete poetry owing to the focus on layout over content, allowed for the two projections to interact with one another, to forge unexpected relationships between the images.22 Three Colors, presented in 1968 at the Black Gate in New York and at the Tokyo Film Art Festival at the Sogetsu Art Center, was a triple projection piece with uninterrupted gleams of blue and green projected alongside each other and red overlapping both in the middle (Fig. 24–27).23 Recalling experiments in synesthesia carried out by the early Futurists, Iimura’s multiple projections mixed primary colors to create a white stream between the overlapping hues.24 Iimura froze the frame and changed projection speeds to shift the color gradations in what he considered a performance of no fixed duration.

Intermedia not only affected Iimura’s art but took the entire Japanese art scene by storm in the late 1960s. After events such as the Intermedia Art Festival in January 1969 and Cross Talk Intermedia in February 1969, intermedia was subsumed into the rhetoric of the World Exposition in Osaka that was to be held in 1970. Iimura’s contempt for the event, which he described as “an amusement park,” stemmed largely from its use of multiple projection.25 Iimura declared that due to the commercial framework of the installations, the artists commissioned to create the spaces were employing multiple projection in a formulaic way. For Iimura, intermedia designated practices that went beyond established ways of working with a medium, in particular the film medium and its presentation.

Figures 23–27

Figure 23. Iimura Takahiko. Lilliput Okoku Butokai (A Dance Party at the Kingdom of Lilliput), still. 1964. コピーライトマーク Iimura Takahiko

Figure 24. Iimura Takahiko. Three Colors, drawing. 2012. コピーライトマーク Iimura Takahiko. Courtesy the artist

Figure 25. Flyer for Black Gate Theater performance. October 4, 5, 6, 1968.

Figure 26. Tokyo Film Art Festival 1968: Uncharted Possibilities in Cinematic Expression. フィルム・アート・フェスティバル 東京 1968──映像表現の未踏の可能性に挑む. Event date: October 18–30, 1968. 208 x 210 mm. KUAC item no. 256 (a). Courtesy Sogetsu Foundation and Keio University Art Center (KUAC)

Figure 27. Tokyo Film Art Festival 1968: Uncharted Possibilities in Cinematic Expression. October 18–30, 1968.

Describing the pavilions at the Osaka Expo as closed spaces that placed audiences in pre-arranged frameworks,26 Iimura sought to create open environments through the use of multiple projection. In an event at the Black Gate, Matsumoto Toshio was asked to operate one of the three projectors used in Iimura’s Circles and was given free reign to decide which of fifty or sixty loop-films to project, when to change reels, and where to project the images (Fig. 28).27 In a 1967–68 collaboration with Alvin Lucier, whom Iimura had met in Boston in 1966, Iimura presented Shelter 9999, an improvised performance of film and slide projections to tape music by Lucier. Billed in promotional material as “the study of the underground world,” Shelter 9999 was showcased in auditoriums, gymnasiums, and nightclubs: the Filmmakers’ Cinematheque, Black Gate, Page Hall, and the Electric Circus in New York; Gray Hall in Hartford, Connecticut; a church on the outskirts of Chicago; and in Tokyo as part of Cross Talk 3. For the Electric Circus performance, Iimura covered the walls and parts of the ceiling with slide and moving-image projections of newspaper clippings that were gradually replaced with white flashes to conclude the show (Fig. 29). At Cross Talk 3 in Tokyo, he pointed all the projectors toward one screen on which the images overlapped, disappeared into, and reappeared out of one another as he swapped lenses and used different color filters (Fig. 30–31). In his essay “Community of Images,” Iimura wrote that he had used as many as seven projectors and described a version employing two film projectors reeling scratched and hole-punched black film leader and two slide projectors showing photographs he had taken of banners, neon signs, and graffiti (Fig. 32). The instructions, recently discovered along with a print of the film used as the central projection, are heavily marked up with alterations for individual performances (Fig. 33). Iimura’s multi-projection events were thus reshaped on each occasion for the spatial context in which they were presented.

Figures 28–33

Figure 28. From left: unknown, Iimura Takahiko, Aldo Tambellini, Elsa Tambellini, and Matsumoto Toshio. Photographer unknown.

Figure 29. Program notes for The Electric Circus performance. August 12, 1968.

Figure 30. Cross Talk 3. 1968. Program for performance. March 16, 1968.

Figure 31. Paul Chihara. Introductory text for Iimura Takahiko in Cross Talk Intermedia program notes. 1968.

Figure 32. Iimura Takahiko. Shelter 9999, slide. 1967. コピーライトマーク Iimura Takahiko

Figure 33. Iimura Takahiko. Shelter 9999, instructions. 1967. コピーライトマーク Iimura Takahiko

Collaborations: Music, Dance, and Theater

Iimura’s collaborations with musicians and dancers resulted in works that were closer than his multi-projection performances to Higgins’s original notion of intermedia. At a screening at the Naiqua Gallery (August 8 and 9, 1963), Dada ’62 (1962), a filmed record of the 15th Yomiuri Independents exhibition,28 was projected according to Iimura’s interpretation of a graphic score that Tone Yasunao had composed for the occasion (Fig. 34–36). Using an 8mm projector, Iimura blurred the focus, adjusted the projection speed, froze frames, and moved the projection over the walls as he followed Tone’s score. The audience, seated on the floor of the gallery, was made to shift positions for each film during the event as Iimura projected onto different walls of the gallery. At a dance recital arranged by Kuni Chiya that same year, Iimura chased small screens held up by dancers with his projection of Sakasama (Upside Down, 1963), a film largely consisting of footage of women’s legs captured upside-down at a department store (Fig. 37). The images, vertically juxtaposed with the bodies of all-female dance troupe, mirrored the latter, connecting the real with the recorded. 29

Figures 34–37

Figure 34. Program notes for Naiqua Cinematheque performance. August 9, 10, 1963. Courtesy Miyata Yuka

Figure 35. Tone Yasunao. Dada '62, graphic score. 1963. コピーライトマーク Tone Yasunao. Courtesy the artist

Figure 36. Tone Yasunao. Dada '62, instructions. 1963. コピーライトマーク Tone Yasunao. Courtesy the artist

Figure 37. Iimura Takahiko. Sakasama (Upside Down), still. 1963.

Such encounters and collaborations with dancers and performance artists encouraged Iimura to treat the act of recording as a performance in and of itself. Iimura was invited to join Ankoku Butoh dancers in a 1963 recital at Asahi Hall and to participate in their performance in the role of an observer. Iimura attempted to translate the dancers’ gestures into camera movements, treating “[his] hand as an extension of the camera, or the camera as an extension of [his] hand.”30 The result, shot on an 8mm spring-wind-motor camera to allow for maximum mobility, has been described as an anti-document, due to its lack of clarity.31 At the same event, the butoh dancers invited still photographers to join them onstage as observers. Performer Kazakura Sho took a seat on a plinth propped fifteen feet above the audience and gazed at them as well as the performance, turning the spectators into subjects of observation.32 The event demonstrated the interlacing of art forms that were of central concern to the art community during that period and revealed Iimura’s avid questioning of conventional roles assigned to any given art form. Moreover, Iimura’s action posed a challenge to the notion that performance exists only in the present: his ‘performance’ as an observer of the dance endures in the camera movements of his film.

The Medium in Intermedia

In the early 1970s, Iimura started to experiment with video performances. In Outside and Inside, presented as part of the crossdisciplinary festival Cross Talk 5, he used the closed circuit and live relay system of Telebeam (TV-projector apparatus) to transmit interviews conducted with people walking from the street into the auditorium (Fig. 38–40). In Project Yourself (1973), he employed the possibility afforded by television and video to record and project simultaneously by giving audience members an opportunity to speak or act freely for one minute in front of the camera while their image was projected on a screen behind them (Fig. 41). This medium-specific use of video is consistent with Iimura’s use of film in his film performances (Fig. 42–43). Starting with Dead Movie, he made the filmstrip the principal point of focus of his film installations, moving it, together with the projection apparatus, out of the projection room and into the exhibition space.

Figures 38–44

Figure 38. Program detail for Cross Talk 5, February 15,1971. Details about the performance by Iimura Takahiko.

Figure 39. Program notes for Cross Talk 5, February 15,1971.

Figure 40. Yamazaki Hiroshi. Outside and Inside, photodocumentation of event. 1971. コピーライトマーク Yamazaki Hiroshi

Figure 41. Iimura Takahiko. Project Yourself, photodocumentation of event at Akademie Der Kunst, Germany. 1973. コピーライトマーク Iimura Takahiko

Figure 42. Iimura Takahiko. Projection Piece, view of installation at Palais Turn Und Taxis Brigenz, Germany. 1968. コピーライトマーク Iimura Takahiko

Figure 43. Iimura Takahiko. Loop Seen as Line, view of installation at Apple, Germany. 1972. コピーライトマーク Iimura Takahiko

Iimura’s view of screenings as occasions for performance developed new directions for film exhibition in the Japanese art scene. His removal of the projector from the movie theater and into gallery spaces opened up new perspectives that shifted film projection off the screen and onto widely divergent surfaces. While Iimura pushed the limits of the film medium in his performances and collaborations with other artists, his performances revealed an unyielding commitment to film. Despite their close association with other forms of expression, Iimura’s films deal with the specificities of film: its materiality, technology, and the conventions of its presentation.33 In his conception of intermedia, Iimura saw the expansion of cinema as resulting from its interactions with other mediums: “By reducing each medium to its bare essence,” he wrote, “intermedia, actually reveals the independence of a medium.”34 His film performances highlight the fundamental components of cinema−screen, filmstrip, and projector−by displacing them from their prescribed frameworks. Thus he exposes the rigidity of conventional film projection. In the same way that the round, punched holes admit light through the square frame of the filmstrip and onto the screen, Iimura’s film performances of the 1960s spotlight the limits and specificities of the medium.


Sogetsu Art Center

Film Performances by Iimura Takahiko in the 1960s
By Julian Ross

Film Festivals and Screenings at the Sogetsu Art Center
By Hirasawa Go

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By Yusung Kim Posted on 12 Oct
Iimura Takahiko’s idea on screening is interesting in terms of his investigating the specificity of screen or filmic environments, and expanding the possibilities of projection as a event. His saying that “the screening is the first occasion where...

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Oshima Tatsuo refers to Iimura’s screening at Sasori-za (Theatre Scorpio), where he repeatedly referred to his own presentations as “film actions” in the Q&A session on February 20,1970, as part of the Iimura Takahiko: Cinema Love-In program. (Oshima, Tatsuo. "Eizo no Umareru Chitai: Iimura Takahiko to Arakawa Shusaku no Eiga Sakuhin o Mite," SD (Space Design), 72 [October 1970]: 104.)
Iimura Takahiko, “Imeji no Comyuniti” (Community of Images), Kikan Firumu 2, (February 1969): p. 153. See here for the text.
Hi Red Center was a performance group active from 1963 to '64. Members included Takamatsu Jiro, Akasegawa Genpei, and Nakanishi Natsuyuki, as well as occasional guests. They often performed in public spaces but also exhibited in art galleries such as the Naiqua Gallery, where Iimura Takahiko’s works were screened. Hi Red Center’s members later became associated with Fluxus.
Akasegawa Genpei, however, claims that he cut Takamatsu Jiro’s jacket in the shape of the projected image. See Akasegawa, Genpei, Tokyo Mikisa Keikaku: Hi Red Center Chokusetsu Kodo no Kiroku (Tokyo Mixer Plan: Records of Hi Red Center’s Direct Actions) (Tokyo: Chikuma, 1994), p. 353.
Iimura Takahiko (1969). "Tatsuki Yoshihiro Shashi-ten nado: Hadaka ni tsuite (Tatsuki Yoshihiro's Photography Exhibition: On Naked Bodies)," SD (Space Design), 65 (March): p. 109.
After relocating to New York in 1966, Iimura participated in the 5th Avant-Garde Festival (1967), where he projected his films onto the face of Charlotte Moorman and other artists while they performed, attesting to his desire to forge new relationships and attain unexpected results with his films. See Iimura Takahiko, “Involuvumento - Aruiwa Jiden” (Involvement – In Account of One’s Life) in Bijutsu Techo, 327 (May 1970): p. 179. Projections onto the body became familiar offerings on Tokyo’s art scene in performances that included Jonouchi Motoharu’s Gewaltopia at Runami Gallery (1967), Yamaguchi Katsuhiro’s Lulu (1967), Tachimi Tadahiro’s Psychedelic Show (1968) at Modern Art in Shinjuku, in a pink film Buru Firumu no Onna (Blue Film Woman, Mukai Kan, 1969), and in films produced and/or distributed by the Art Theater Guild: Hatsukoi: Jigoku-hen (Inferno of First Love, Hani Susumu, 1969), Erosu purasu Gyakusatsu (Eros Plus Massacre, Yoshida Kiju, 1969), Tokyo Senso Sengo Hiwa, (The Man Who Put His Will on Film, Oshima Nagisa, 1970).
Cross Talk Intermedia was the fourth event of the Cross Talk series organized by the American Cultural Center to foster collaboration between Japanese and American artists working primarily in the field of music. Spearheaded by Roger Reynolds and Kuniharu Akiyama, the event was unique in the series for its focus on expanded cinema. Participants included Stan VanDerBeek, Alvin Lucier, Robert Ashley, George Cacioppo, Salvatore Martirano, Gordon Mumma, Ronald Nameth, David Rosenboom, Ichiyanagi Toshi, Matsumoto Toshio, Yuasa Joji, Takemitsu Toru, Kosugi Takehisa and Shiomi Mieko. Iimura’s Circles was performed on February 6, 1969, using the same balloons made by Shinohara Ushio for Matsumoto Toshio’s Projection for Icon.
The use of balloons had been gaining popularity among Japanese artists such as Kazakura Sho, Isobe Yukihisa, and Onishi Seiji, who found in the spherical objects an alternative to the fixed position imposed by the frame conventionally found in exhibitions. Kazakura, at the "Intermedia" event at Runami Gallery, May 23 to 28, 1967, threw balloons into the gallery space during one of the screenings as a performative interruption, marking the first encounter between film projection and balloons in Japan, Other than Kazakura's, Matsumoto's and Iimura’s works that have already been mentioned, Azuchi Shuzo Gulliver and Yoshizawa Toshimi with Ishii Kahoru also took part in events that involved projections onto balloons. Balloons had also become a common feature internationally in performative situations such as Robert Whitman’s Two Holes of Water, No. 2 (1966), which Iimura reviewed in an article for Eiga Hyoron. Iimura discussed Robert Whitman’s Two Holes of Water, No. 2 in his article “Special Report! Seismic Rumbles from the Underground” (1966, pp. 89–98) and again in the same journal, with a photographic insert: “Chitei ni Inanake Nandaguraundo,” Eiga Hyoron, 24 (May 1967): p. 69.
Organized by dance critic Ichikawa Miyabi, the Expanded Art Festival was primarily a dance event with performances by Atsugi Bonjin, Kuni Chiya, and Ankoku Butoh dancer Hijikata Tatsumi’s disciple Ishii Mitsutaka. Ichikawa Miyabi wrote extensively on intermedia in the pages of SD (Space Design) and anticipated for it to instigate new directions in dance. He was based in New York when Iimura arrived in 1966 and let Iimura stay in his flat apartment while searching for a place to live.
Dead Movie was presented at Tokyo’s Goethe-Institut (1964), Judson Gallery, New York (1968), and Nichidoku Gendai Ongaku Enso-kai, Tokyo, in 1970. When Iimura added a third projector to the installation at Judson Gallery, he named it Projection Piece (1968–72). For more information on Dead Movie, see Iimura’s article “Media Ato to shiteno Eizo: Jisaku ni Kakwaru Noto,” (The Image as Media Art: Notes on My Own Work) in Shinsuke Ina (ed.), Media Ato no Sekai: Jikken Eizo 1960–2007 (Tokyo: Kokusho Kankokai, 2008), p. 29–44.
There was, however, one exception: at one point, the main character burns holes in the nudes in his erotic magazines in an attempt to efface his lechery.
Iimura, Takahiko, “Eiga no Jikken ka Jikken no Eiga ka: Onan no Ba’ai” (A Film Experiment or Experimental Film?: The Case of Onan) Eizo Geijutsu, 3 (February 1965): p. 20.
Iimura, Takahiko, “Community of Images,” p. 156. See here for the text.
In 1966 Iimura received a fellowship to attend an international summer seminar at Harvard University and a visiting artist fellowship from the Japan Society, New York.
Dick Higgins, “Intermedia”, Something Else Press Newsletter, 1, 1 (February 1966): p. 1–3.
Iimura Takahiko, “Tokuho! Meidou Tsuzuku Anda guraundo” (Special Report! Seismic Rumbles from the Underground), Eiga Hyoron, 23 (December 1966): p. 22. See here for the text.
Higgins drew inspiration from Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s use of the word "intermedium" and included in his concept of intermedia artworks ranging from pattern poetry to Happenings. See Higgins, “The Origin of Happening,” American Speech, 51, 3/4 (Autumn–Winter 1976): p. 271.
Iimura Takahiko, “Special Report! Seismic Rumbles from the Underground,” p. 22. See here for the text.
The underground filmmakers who participated in Runami Gallery’s "Intermedia" event include Donald Richie, Nagano Chiaki, Okabe Michio, Obayashi Nobuhiko, Takabayashi Yoichi, Adachi Masao, Jonouchi Motoharu, Miyai Rikuro, Noda Shinkichi, and Kanesaka Kenji. Iimura was listed in the pamphlet but was not able to participate. U.S.-based artists on the program included Stan Brakhage and Aldo Tambellini.
Iimura, Takahiko, “Community of Images,” p. 154. See here for the text.
A Dance Party in the Kingdom of Lilliput follows Kazakura Sho performing outdoors in various spaces. The title is a reference to a poem by Henri Michaux and was used by Kazakura in performances, starting with his performance for the event Sweet 16.
Iimura Takahiko, “Shi to Eiga” (Poetry and Cinema) in Eizo Jikken no tame ni: Tekisuto, Conseputo, Pafomansu (For Experiments in the Image: Text, Concept, Performance) (Tokyo: Seido-sha, 1986), p. 17. Originally published in Pietoro, August 1970.
Presented together with Miyai Rikuro’s Sekibun Genshogaku (Integral Phenomenology, 1968) and Michael Snow’s Wavelength, Iimura’s triple projection Three Colors marks a shift in experimental film towards an engagement with what was later to be named structural cinema. The screening was presented at the symposium “What Does Cinema Mean to Me?” October 24, 1968.
In “Abstract Film – Chromatic Music” (1912), Bruno Corra, one of the authors of the Futurist film manifesto (1916), wrote of his experiments, conducted with his brother Arnolda Ginna, in creating musical octaves using color projection.
Iimura Takahiko, “Bankokuhaku no Eizo Hyogen” (Film Expression at the Osaka Expo), SD (Space Design), 70 (August 1970): p. 42–45.
Iimura, Takahiko, “Bankokuhaku no Eizo Hyogen,” p. 43.
Matsumoto Toshio presented Tsuburekakatta Migime no Tameni (For My Damaged Right Eye) with Iimura Takahiko’s Circles and Three Colors at the Black Gate Theater, October 4 to 6, 1968.
The Yomiuri Independent Exhibition was a series of exhibition organized by the Yomiuri newspaper, held at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum between 1946 and 1963. For more on the exhibition, see Tomii, Reiko, “Yomiuri Independent Exhibition,” in Doryun Chong et. al (eds.), From Postwar to Postmodern: Art in Japan 1945–1989 (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2012), p. 116–117.
Iimura, Takahiko, “Involuvumento – Aruiwa Jiden” (Involvement – In Account of One’s Life) in Bijutsu Techo, 327 (May 1970): p. 179.
Julian Ross, “As I See You You See Me,” in Vertigo Magazine, 31, 2012. Originally published in 2010 in Midnight Eye.
Stephen Barber, Hijikata: Revolt of the Body (Washington, DC: Solar Books, 2010), p. 54.
Bruce Baird, Hijikata Tatsumi and Butoh: Dancing in a Pool of Gray Grits (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), p. 92–94.
I expand on this notion in my analysis of Iimura’s recent re-performances of White Calligraphy (1965) in Ross, Julian (2013), "Projection as Performance: Intermediality in Japan’s Expanded Cinema," in Lúcia Nagib and Anne Jerslev (eds.), Impure Cinema: Intermedial and Intercultural Approaches to Cinema (London and New York: I.B. Tauris, 2013), p. 249–267. A diagram that instructs a performative version of White Calligraphy can be found in Iimura Takahiko, Geijutsu to Hi-geijutsu no Aida (Tokyo: San’ichi Shobo, 1970), p. 264.
Iimura, Takahiko, “Community of Images”, p. 157. See here for the text.
THIS ESSAY IS PART OF: Sogetsu Art Center

「記載の場所」を巡って ──アーカイヴと横尾忠則
By Uesaki Sen

“When a stem breaks the water…”: Sounds of the Sogetsu Ikebana school
By Katarzyna Krakowiak

Matsumoto Toshio: Selected Works
By Postwar Japan Moving Image Archive, Matsumoto Toshio

A Sedimentation of the Archival Mind, 1
By Uesaki Sen
posted by taka at 20:42| news


iimura in 5o (S8) Mostra de Cinema Periférico/June4-8

Taka iimura was invited by the 5o (S8) Mostra de Cinema Periférico Film Festival,June4-8, 2014 in A Coruna, Spain.
He will exhibit video installation, "As I See You See Me"(1990-2014) with performance and film performance,
"Writing with Light, White Calligraphy"(1976) as well as a film prgram.

The festival site describes as following:http://www.s8cinema.com/portal/en/2014/05/07/el-s8-celebra-su-quinta-edicion-con-un-programa-especial-sobre-el-cine-japones-desde-sus-origenes-hasta-la-actualidad-en-el-marco-del-ano-dual-espana-japon/
Mekas about Iimura
Jonas Mekas wrote some brief impressions on his first encounter with Iimura. A Belgian festival in which he discovered two young emerging filmmakers: Takahiko Iimura and Peter Kubelka. I saw my first Iimura film on 1964… By Jonas Mekas I saw my first Iimura film in 1964 at Knokke-Le-Zoute Experimental Film Competition Belgium. I respected Jacques Ledoux, […]

(S8) Peripheral Film Festival celebrates its 5th Edition with a special programme, part of the activities of the Spain – Japan Dual Year
Takahiko Iimura, considered the father of Japanese avant-garde cinema, will lead the programme of a Special Edition that brings together to Corunna a group of renowned filmmakers including Daïchi Saïto, (+) art collective founders Takashi Makino, Rei Hayama and Shinkan Tamaki, and the hidden gem of Nippon Super 8, Teruo Koike. Katsuben – Benshi: ‘Narrators […]
The (S8) Peripheral Film Festival will have de honor to receive the visit of one of the greatest experimental international masters: Takahiko Iimura. Member of a selected group of renowned filmmakers along with Peter Kubelka, Stan Brakhage, Michael Snow or Jonas Mekas, Iimura is considered, as them all in their own countries, the father of avant-garde cinema, in this case in Japan.
Our visitors and accredited press will have the chance to enjoy a season including several of his most celebrated films, a selection made by the author himself on his 16mm work. Furthermore, between the 4th and the 8th of June our audience will have free access to the video installation ‘As I see you, you see me’ that the artist will be activating with an artistic intervention at certain moments of the festival. The programme will be completed by the performance ‘White Calligraphy, Re-Read’ (in 8mm) and a questions and answer session moderated by Esperanzo Collado, a curator specialized in avant-garde cinema.
Famous for exploring materials, the conceptual and intellectual rigor with touches of humor, Iimura met Jonas Mekas in 1964 at Brussel’s International Independent Film Festival where he won a Special Award for his film Onan (1963). Following this meeting, Mekas asked Yoko Ono to promote some of Iimura’s work in New York, which she did. Although the relationship with Ono goes back to 1962:
“I don’t consider myself as part of Fluxus, but a friend, although I was involved by way of making recordings of their events. I have worked with Yoko Ono too, whom I met back in Japan when I used to frequent her performances. I showed her my films and she made the soundtrack of Ai/Love in 1962. Nine years later in 1971, I made a film of her exhibition Yoko Ono: This Is Not Here, with John Lennon too”. (Takahiko Iimura, interview with Esperanza Collado for BlogsandDocs, February 2010).
posted by taka at 07:11| news

In & Out of Japan,Takahiko iimura at AAA

Documenting Travels in Japanese Experimental Film and Art 1960-1980 ≪ Asia Art Ar.webarchive
Home > Programs > In & Out of Japan: Documenting Travels in Japanese Experimental Film and Art 1960-1980
In & Out of Japan: Documenting Travels in Japanese Experimental Film and Art 1960-1980

Thursday, May 1, 2014, 7-8pm
Asia Art Archive in America
43 Remsen Street (Ground floor entrance)
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Seating is limited. Please click here to RSVP.
Join us for a screening and presentation by Julian Ross, followed by discussion with Takahiko Iimura.
In the wake of the Second World War, many Japanese filmmakers and artists traveled to the United States and Europe to forge new encounters with other artists, curators and audiences. Revisiting these experiences and collaborations provides us with invaluable insights into not only the development of artistic practice but also where and how the works were shared and discussed. Julian Ross will share his recent research project exploring in what ways Japanese experimental films between 1960-1980 traveled overseas. The presentation will also introduce performative works by the Japanese artist Yukihisa Isobe and filmmaker Takahiko Iimura shown in New York in the 1960s, to explore the difficulties researchers face attempting to document works that, by their very nature, resist documentation.
Julian Ross is a researcher, curator and writer. Recently completing his PhD on Japanese expanded cinema at the University of Leeds, he has curated film series for Anthology Film Archives, Eye Film Institute, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and Close-Up Film Centre. He was an assistant curator for the touring retrospective series on the Art Theatre Guild of Japan at Museum of Modern Art, Pacific Film Archives and British Film Institute. He is the editor of Vertigo and his writing has appeared in Post, Desistfilm and Impure Cinema (I.B. Tauris 2014).
Takahiko Iimura is a filmmaker and artist who has lived between Tokyo and New York making film and video works for screenings, performances and installations since the 1960s. A pioneer of expanded cinema, film installations and video art in Japan, Iimura’s extensive body of work has screened at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Anthology Film Archives and the Centre Georges Pompidou. His works were shown at the recent exhibitions Tokyo 1955–1970: A New Avant-Garde at the Museum of Modern Art, New York and Experimental Grounds 1950s at the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo.
Image credit: Critic Jyūshin Satō (left) and filmmaker Takahiko Iimura (right) at the offices of New York Filmmakers’ Cooperative, 1966. Photographer unknown. Courtesy Takahiko Iimura.
posted by taka at 04:32| news


Film Performance ,NY

ScreenPlayUpLink#4.jpgScreenPlayUpLink#4.jpg May 23rd, Friday, 7pm. $10
Millennium Brooklyn Fireproof gallery,phone:718.456.757 119 Ingraham St (at Porter Ave), Brooklyn, NY

This Is A Camera Which Shoots This (1980/1995) 5min.
As I See You You See Me (1990/1995) 8min.
Talking Picture (1981) 15min.
Shadow-man (1994/2008) 8min.
Making An Audience (2006/2013) 12min.
White Calligraphy Performed (1967/2006) 8.5min.
a,i,u,e,o,nn AR Performance (1993/2013) 14min.
Screen Play (1963/2014) with film IRO (1962) Live, 12min.

Between 1963 and the 1970s, Iimura Takahiko, an experimental filmmaker and video artist, challenged conventional experiences of cinema by putting an emphasis on the performative aspect of film projection through activities he called “film performances.” The presentation below[above] is a collection of what has survived from Iimura Takahiko’s film performances, which illustrate his inventive approaches. Julian Ross, Film Performances by Iimura Takahiko in the 1960s, MoMA Post
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Kiri (Fog) - Takahiko Iimura

April 17, 2014 (Thu) - 7:30pm, Brattle Theatre:Balagan Films ・ c/o Brattle Theatre ・ 40 Brattle Street ・ Cambridge, MA 02138 ・ USA

Rebounding from the sylvan charms of A Spell to Ward off the Darkness, we've decided to unveil this melancholy program centered on Waldeinsamkeit, or, woodland solitude. The forest has always sparked the imagination of the lonely traveler, promising encounters with tree-dwelling spirits, ferocious bandits, treacherous plantlife, and feline royalty... During Transcedentalist times, it grew into a benevolent zone of introspection and personal growth. And today, it has gained the status of vestige signifying humanity's lost innocence.

The presented films touch upon some of these ideas in direct or oblique ways, whether through exploring the endlessly compelling shapes of the forest, the evolution of a solitary space across time, or the human's place within. The lineup features a number of new international works that innovatively utilize experimental techniques like pinhole cinematography, screenprinting, layering of multiple exposures, and timelapse; as well as a couple rarely-seen classics -- and a few surprises.

Kiri (Fog) - Takahiko Iimura
1970, 16mm, 5m
"Shot on 8mm on a mountain in Japan, the abrasive winds that drift the fog in Iimura's Kiri are so fierce we almost believe it to have grazed the filmstrip. The scratches, however, emerge as dust particles that submerge in and out of the mist." (Re-voir)


Special Report!: Seismic Rumbles from the Underground Special Report!: Seismic Rumbles from the Underground

Iimura Takahiko reports from the United States that the rumbles in underground art are growing in intensity in a manner that nobody could have predicted. The expansion of media−so-called intermedia−has led to a radical transformation of the movie theater, and Stan VanDerBeek has established a theater named Tabernacle in a former church.1 The time for cinematic revolution has come!
Iimura Takahiko
posted by taka at 00:05| news


Community of Image: An Examination of Environments in Art

By Takahiko Iimura,1969
Publication Kikan Film#2, pp.150-157
Publisher FILM ART
Language Japanese
An Examination of Environments in Art | post.mht An Examination of Environments in Art | post.mht


Community of Image: An Examination of Environments in Art
By Takahiko Iimura,1969
Publication Kikan Film
Publisher FILM ART
Language Japanese

Community of Image. Takahiko Iimura. 1969. Kikan Film. コピーライトマーク Takahiko Iimura. Courtesy the artist

Media and Identity

In the summer of 1967, the hippie filmmaker Ray Wisniewski asked me to shoot some footage. When I asked what it was he wanted shot, he told me just to bring my camera and we’d take it from there. Puzzled, I brought along my camera on the appointed day, and he gave me some film and told me to go out and film people in the vicinity in any manner I pleased. This was in the neighborhood they used to call the Far East, the slums to the east of my own neighborhood, the East Village. It was a jungle, the streets littered with trash and dog turds, ravaged buildings abandoned and left to deteriorate. I recalled that a hippie had been murdered nearby at one point.

I wasn’t altogether unfamiliar with the area. I had visited it a few times, and filmmakers I knew lived there. When I went out on the street and started to film, right away kids came up and said, “Hey, film me, man,” and wouldn’t go away. I went inside an apartment building, where I found elderly people and children in a room with crumbling plaster walls lit by a bare bulb. The bright light mercilessly illuminated the grubby interior. Far from being embarrassed by the camera, though, they pointed out a place where the wall had crumbled and told me to get that on film.

The neighborhood was an enclave of immigrants−Puerto Rican, Jewish, Polish and so forth−a ghetto very far removed from the trim, tidy Main Street of middle-class Caucasian America. The film I shot that day was material for an art “environment” to be held on that city block. This environment was a large-scale multimedia event, incorporating tens of thousands of feet of film, countless slides and tapes, and a live band. It was an environment in the true sense of the word, created by and for the local community.

The participants were filmmakers, artists and other neighborhood residents. They took photos and shot film while they themselves were being photographed and filmed by other people. Several giant makeshift screens made from bedsheets sewn together hung from buildings, and quite a number of projectors were placed in windows and ran simultaneously. The band played raucous rock music while children shouted and jeered delightedly. They were excited when they found their own faces on the screens. It was raw, practically unedited footage, with slides overlaid randomly and projected on screens that fluttered in the wind. The street was jammed with people, some of whom were dancing. Everything and everyone that had been filmed and photographed was shown to the subjects themselves, in their own environment. This simultaneous viewing and being viewed was a feedback loop of the residents’ identity. The projection environment was ideal for this endeavor.

The budget for the event came from a local fund for community projects, but it was not enough. A lot of cameras, projectors, and screens were provided free of charge by local artists and residents. Andy Warhol had already filmed himself and his surroundings and then screened the unedited footage as a cinematic environment, but this block party environment was done on a larger scale. The footage of the local people ran on and on, and the event lasted from early evening until deep into the night.
posted by taka at 22:54| news