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Art, Performance & Social Poetics: Japanese Perspectives

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May 2, 2016
May 2, 2016
Donald Keene Center of Japanese Culture
Akira Takayama's Tokyo Heterotopia. Photo by Masahiro Hasunuma

Akira Takayama’s Tokyo Heterotopia. Photo by Masahiro Hasunuma

Monday, May 2
2:00pm Symposium | 6:00pm Artist Talk
Donald Keene Center of Japanese Culture (403 Kent Hall, Columbia University)

FREE + Open to public. First come, first served.

Art, Performance and Social Poetics: Japanese Perspectives will consider the interrelationship of
artistic practices with community events, cultural activism, and people’s experiences of everyday
life in Japan. Afternoon symposium and evening conversation with performance and installation artist
Takayama Akira and poet Keijirō. With Marilyn Ivy, Peter Eckersall and others.

Sponsored by the Donald Keene Center as part of their 2016 Sen Lecture series in collaboration with the
Segal Center and the Ph.D. Program in Theatre, The Graduate Center, CUNY.


Akira Takayama is a leading performance maker and installation artist who founded the company and artist collective Port B in 2002.  His works have been seen at major arts festivals in Japan and in Europe. He looks at contemporary issues, such as the rising numbers of working poor in Japan, and also makes extensive use of social and digital media. Takayama develops projects which go beyond the framework of existing theater, as he tries to expand the “architecture of theater” and establish it as a new platform in society, which he calls “theater 2.0”.  He does so, based on theoretical considerations about the experience of the audience and by referring to the original meaning of “theatron” as an auditorium.  In 2011 he founded the Think Tank “Port Tourism Research Center” and develops projects in the fields of architecture, tourism, and urban planning. Takayama researches new areas in society, to expand their possibilities and to enrich new constellations with the help of his theatrical thinking.

Keijiro Suga

Keijirō Suga is a Japanese poet, critic, translator, and writer, the presenter of the 2016 Sen Lecture hosted by the Donald Keene Center of Japanese Culture at Columbia University. A prolific translator, his translations from French, Spanish, and English include works by Edouard Glissant, Maryse Condé, Francisco Varela, Isabelle Allende, Jamaica Kincaid, and Aimee Bender.  He has published several collections of poems, including Agend’Ars (2010) and The Water of the Islands, the Fire of the Islands (2011).  In 2011, he was awarded the Yomiuri Prize for Literature for his travel essay Transversal Journeys. He is currently chair and professor in the program in digital content studies, Meiji University, Tokyo.


Introductory remarks: Marilyn Ivy and Peter Eckersall

The Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial: Revitalizing the Dying Countryside with Contemporary Art
Midori Yamamura, Fordham University

(Politico-Artistic) Landscapes of Image Play
Thomas Looser, New York University

Peregrinations and Heterotopias: Thinking Art/Performance after 3.11
Marilyn Ivy, Columbia University

3:45-4:00pm         BREAK

The Emptiness in Pierre Huyghe’s “Untitled (Human Mask)” (2014) and Takayama Akira’s “Demarcation: Happy Island: The Messianic Banquet of the Righteous” (2015)
Peter Eckersall, Graduate School, City University of New York.

Don’t Follow the Wind: Chim Pom and the Creation of a Collective Imaginary
Miwako Tezuka, Consulting Curator, ARAKAWA+GINS, Reversible Destiny Foundation

5:00-5:15pm          Discussion


Akira Takayama: Artist Talk, Sonic/Visual Presentation, and Conversation with Keijirō Suga

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