Opening Thursday 27 november 6-9pm
Curator: Katya García-Antón
The Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève is proud to present “Between Art
And Life. Performativity In Japanese Art”, a group exhibition including
Atelier Bow-Wow, Taro Izumi, Yayoi Kusama, Yasumasa Morimura, Yoko Ono,
Takako Saito, Tomoko Sawada, Shimabuku and Rikuo Ueda.

The vast area of interdisciplinary and multimedia collaborations that we
call “performance art” (2) has a history that covers over a hundred
years, from the early actions of the Dada artists to the engaged
performances of the 1960s and 1970s. The special re-mergence of the
discipline in the post-world war two period, described by American
artist Robert Rauschenberg as a desire to “mind the gap between art and
life” was, crucially, characterized by an interest in society and
everyday life, bringing the spectator into the art work, and thus the
art work into life.

Japan today is a pivotal part of the renewed interest internationally
for the live arts. Various generations of artists are re-thinking the
history of performance and what is known as performative art.

Given its unique history in the field of performance art, Japan is
particularly well placed regarding the current renaissance in the field.
Urban groups such as High Red Centre and Gutai, active from the 1950s
onwards, were pivotal in re-engaging art with society and the citizen.
On an individual basis artists such as Yoko Ono, Yayoi Kusama, Shigeko
Kubota, Mieko Shiomi, Takako Saito, who moved to New York in the 1960s,
helped define the nature of performance art, particularly its relation
to the body, and other media such as video and music.

The exhibition “Between Art And Life. Performativity in Japanese Art”
presents the work of an emerging generation of artists born in Japan,
whose practice engages with the national and world heritage of
performance and performativity. The exhibition selection is necessarily
subjective. It does not seek to define an entire nation through its
cultural production; nor does it maintain that performance is the only
worth-while artistic practice in Japan today. “Between Art And Life.
Performativity In Japanese Art” has the specific task to showcase the
work of some of the most dynamic artists from Japan across different
generations, some of whom are even based outside of their country and
thus are engaging with a new set of cultural traditions. In particular,
the exhibition showcases an area of artistic practice which is vitally
contributing to the cultural energy experienced in Japan and
reverberating around the world today.

(2) Performance is an art that has sprung from the enormous stockpile of
cross-dialogues between film, theatre, architecture, dance, sculpture,
painting, video, drawing, actions and music. In particular performance
art has throughout its history been interested in showcasing the
experiential, opening different kinds of engagement with meaning,
transgressing the norm, questioning the art product and activating the

Tomoko Sawada, “Early Days 31 et 32”, 1997
Tomoko Sawada, “Early Days 31 et 32”, 1997

Shimabuku, “Passing through the rubber band”, 2000
Shimabuku, “Passing through the rubber band”, 2000
Courtesy Air de Paris gallery, Amanda Wilkinson, London and the Artis

Yasumasa Morimura “Seasons of passion / A requiem: Mishima”, 2006 Yayoi Kusama, "Walking Piece", New York 1966
Yasumasa Morimura “Seasons of passion / A requiem:
Mishima”, 2006, courtesy galerie Thaddeus Ropac
et de l’artiste
Yayoi Kusama, “Walking Piece”, New York 1966,
collection Maria et Walter Schnepel, courtesy
Victoria Miro, Londres et Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo


With precious support of:


Strobotech Japan Foundation JAPAN AIRLINES BABOO


En partenariat avec / in partneship with:

Le Consulat du Japon, Choc’Events, Kanebo, Schilliger, Pernod Ricard Swiss et Le Temps
Le Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève bénéficie du soutien de la Ville de Genève, Département de la culture.

Ville de Genève

Rue des Vieux-Grenadiers 10 
1205 Genève
Adresse postale:
CP 121
1211 Genève 8
t + 41 22 329 18 42
f + 41 22 329 18 86

[email protected]

Bus n°1 : arrêt «Bains» (direction Jardin Botanique) ou arrêt «Ecole-Médecine» (direction Rive)
(Pour consulter les horaires:
Parking de Plainpalais: entrées Avenue du Mail et Rond-Point de Plainpalais 

Tarif réduit (artiste, étudiant, chômeur, AVS) CHF 2.-
Tarif normal CHF 5.-

mardi – dimanche, 11h – 18h

Vendredi Saint: 21 mars 2008
Ascension: jeudi 1er mai 2008
Fête Nationale: vendredi 1er août 2008
Jeûne Genevois: jeudi 11 septembre 2008
Fermeture annuelle de fin d’année: du samedi 20 décembre 2008 (inclus) au lundi 5 janvier