In More Than Cinema, Motoharu Jonouchi’s and Keiichi Tanaami’s works are presented in the Pioneer Works galleries as an installation, but they were originally shown in a much different way—as live performances. Jonouchi and Tanaami experimented with film in their examination of the boundaries between art and life, politics, and technology. For this special evening, filmmaker Katsu Kanai and artist Shuzo Azuchi Gulliver will bring past performances to life.
In an homage to Jonouchi, who passed away in 1986, Kanai will read Poem of Far Yet (Madamada no uta), whic Jonouchi first read in his film performance of Shinjuku Station (1968-1974). Kanai’s recitation references Jonouchi’s original performance of the poem.
Gulliver will present his poemし-C-4 (shi-C-4), a rare performance first created in the 1960s. Gulliver first presentedし-C-4 (shi-C-4) in January 1968, as part of the First Contemporary Poetry Recital “Japan’s Beat Generation” at discoteque L.S.D. in Shinjuku, Tokyo. Gulliver also presented his conceptual film works at L.S.D. in 1967, and then in 1969 presented Cinematic Illumination, an 18-slide projector work at discoteque Killer Joe’s, a space where artist Keiichi Tanaami took part in its art direction.*
Screening, Jonouchi Motoharu, Shinjuku Station (1968-1974, 15 min.)
Katsu Kanai, Poem of Far Yet (Madamada no uta), (originally performed 2001)
(includes performance and screening of Kanai’s film, We Can Hear Joe’s Poem)
Shuzo Azuchi Gulliver, し-C-4 (shi-C-4), (originally performed 1968)
Katsu Kanai (b. 1936, Kanagawa Prefecture) graduated from Nihon University Film Department. After working at the Daiei film company as a freelancer, Kanai started his own company, Kanai Katsumaru Production, in 1968, where he produced avant-garde films. His film The Desert Archipelago (Mujin retto, 1969) has won the grand prize at the Nyon International Film Festival, Dream Running (Yume hashiru, 1987) won a prize at the Melbourne International Film Festival, and the Super Documentary: The Avant-Garde Senjutsu (2003) won a prize at the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen.
Shuzo Azuchi Gulliver (b. 1947, Shiga) is an artist with a multidisciplinary practice. As a high school student, he formed the artist collectives The Play and Remandaran, and staged on-street performances of a conceptual nature in Kyoto and Osaka. Living between Tokyo and the Kansai region in the late-1960s, he began to attract the attention of the media and was considered to be a representative figure of the hippie (fūten) phenomenon, going by the nickname Gulliver, which he continues to keep as his artist name. In 1967, he presented a series of conceptually driven films at the discotheque L.S.D in Tokyo. Together with Rikuro Miyai, he began presenting film in Tokyo jazz clubs, such as Pit Inn and Noa Noa as well as at events organized by the Art Film Association in Kyoto and Osaka. As a participant of the Intermedia Art Festival at the discotheque Killer Joe’s, Tokyo, in 1969, Gulliver presented Cinematic Illumination (1968-69), a work involving eighteen slide projectors that illuminated the unique 360-degree environment. The outdoor performance Flying Focus (1969) involved a tubular balloon into which Gulliver projected colored patterns using an overhead projector. Since, he has continued to remain active as an artist working in the fields of sculpture, performance, and new media with an interest in the body, scale and humor. He is represented by Tajana Pieters (Ghent) and Aoyama Meguro (Tokyo) and has performed or exhibited his work recently at Tate Modern and Tokyo Photographic Art Museum.
Presented by Pioneer Works, More Than Cinema is organized by Collaborative Cataloging Japan, and curated by Go Hirasawa, Julian Ross, and Ann Adachi-Tasch. It was made possible with generous support from the National Endowment of the Arts, Japan-US Friendship Commission, the Japan Foundation, New York, and W.L.S. Spencer Foundation.
*Gulliver is concurrently presenting Cinematic Illumination (1968-69), an Expanded Cinema work at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). His selected conceptual film works will be presented at MoMA’s Modern Monday program with the artist on April 6th.