Art and Street Politics in the Global 1960s
Nakajima Yoshio and the Global Avant-Garde
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Anarchic street performances in late-1950s Japan; inauguration of the first Happenings in Antwerp and charging of the "magic circle" in Amsterdam; Bauhaus Situationiste and anti-national art exchanges, networks and communes. As "Happener" and "Art Missionary," Yoshio Nakajima’s storied career traverses an astounding range of locations, scenes, movements, media, and performance modes in the global 1960s and 1970 in ways that challenge our notions of the possibilities of art.
Nakajima repeatedly plays a role in jump-starting spaces of possibility, from Tokyo to Ubbeboda, from Spui square and the Dutch Provos to Antwerp and Sweden. Despite this, Nakajima’s work has paradoxically been largely absent in accounts where it might have justifiably featured. The present volume represents an international collaboration of researchers working to remedy this oversight. Nakajima’s work demands a reconceptualization of narratives of this art and politics and their specific interrelation to consider his exemplary nonconformity—and its exemplary exclusion.
This history demonstrates the inadequacy of notions of specificity that would oppose an authentic local or national frame to an inauthentic transnational one. Conversely, Nakajima manifests a key dimension of the 1960s as a global event in the interrelation between eventfulness itself and the redrawing of categories of practice and understanding.
Table of Contents
1. DAM ACT: Yoshio Nakajima in Japan, 1957-1964. 2: Dancer, Happener, Provo: Yoshio Nakajima and the Dutch Happening Scene, 1964-65. 3: Yoshio Nakajima and the Interplay of Art and Activism During the Mid-Sixties in Belgium. 4: Yoshio Nakajima: A Japanese Artist from Sweden. 5: When Art Grabs You: Grasping Art and Politics in the Global 1960s with Nakajima Yoshio. 6. Selected Chronology.
William Marotti is Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Los Angeles. He teaches modern Japanese history with an emphasis on art and politics, everyday life, and cultural-historical issues. His works address the 1960s and the politics of 1968 as a global event through examinations of art, cultural politics, and oppositional practices. His publications include Money, Trains and Guillotines: Art and Revolution in 1960s Japan (2013), "The Art of the Everyday, as Crisis: Objets, Installations, Weapons, and the Origin of Politics" (2015) and "The Performance of Police and the Theatre of Protest" (2021).