Into Performance: Japanese Women Artists in New York

By Marshall, Jonathan | Australasian Drama Studies, April 2006 | Go to article overview

Into Performance: Japanese Women Artists in New York


Marshall, Jonathan, Australasian Drama Studies


Midori Yoshimoto, Into Performance: Japanese Women Artists in New York (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2005)

In her fine introduction and opening chapter to Into Performance, Midori Yoshimoto notes the increasing historicisation of those mixed media and inter-generic avant garde arts movements which characterised the twentieth century. In 2005-06 for example, the Pompidou Centre hosted the most comprehensive exhibition of Dadaist art yet, while Yoshimoto acknowledges her debt to Kristine Styles and Paul Schimmel - who organised the 1998 LA Museum of Contemporary Art exhibition Out of Actions: Between Performance and the Object - as well as to Jon Hendricks (In the Spirit of Fluxus, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, 1993). Major retrospectives of Fluxus toured the USA, Europe and Australia throughout the 1990s, while more recent related shows have included Andy Warhol's boxes (in Time Capsule 21, Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 2003-05) or the section on British event art and the London Destruction of Art Symposia within the Tate's Art and the 60s: This Was tomorrow exhibition (Tate Modern, London; Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery, Birmingham; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 2004-06). The recent growth in the historiography of performance art reflects the increasing space devoted to intermedia - and event - art ephemera in these exhibitions, with such forms having established an important and ever more lucrative niche within the realm of the international touring show.

These developments make timely any study on the internationalism of twentieth-century avant gardisme. As Yoshimoto observes, both Fluxus and its progenitor Dada had a significant Japanese membership and although Dada left little lasting impression in Japan itself, the same was not true of Fluxus. More than Dada, Fluxus was an art movement whose chief feature was a paradoxically hydra-headed yet centralised social formation. The widely dispersed centres of New York, Berlin and Paris were its chief foci, with the charismatic figures of John Cage and George Maciunas, Joseph Beuys and Yves Klein, respectively, tending both to open up and close off discourse regarding what Fluxus should or should not be. The relationship of the Maciunas chapter to that in Tokyo remains therefore an intriguing and underexplored issue.

The significance of Japanese Fluxus was manifest through such figures as Nam June Paik, who, although originally from Korea, resided in Japan before becoming during the late 1960s the pre-eminent figure in the emergent form of video art in New York. His fame eclipsed that of his partner, video artist Shigeko Kubota, to whom Yoshimoto devotes a chapter. Yoshimoto also examines the work of Fluxus's most famous female artist, Yoko Ono, who was brought up in Japan and who briefly returned in 1962 before going back to the USA to take advantage of New York's relative freedom and more active art market in 1964. Yoshimoto traces as well the professional biographies of Yayoi Kusama (whose extraordinary red-polka-dot-covered, weirdly surreal, organic installations returned to international prominence during the 1990s), Takako Saito (a major designer of Fluxus objects such as the ubiquitous chess sets and games which proliferated within the movement) and Mieko Shiomi (who worked predominantly in the field of Cagean, sculptural sound/music performance).

Yoshimoto's study of these five female artists is largely descriptive and narrative, drawing upon both published and unpublished artist interviews, Fluxus archives and extant catalogue materials. She outlines the various stages in their subjects' careers along a clear, linear trajectory. Yoshimoto's historicisation is peppered with close studies of a number of works, but the emphasis is on critical biography rather than aesthetic analysis per se. In this respect, Yoshimoto's text provides an excellent introduction to the general history of these artists and the issues raised through their practice. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Into Performance: Japanese Women Artists in New York
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.