|Friday, 7 February 2014
To complement the exhibition and residencies that form part of The Politics of Food, Delfina Foundation will be hosting a series of events including lunchtime talks and dinner discussions; performances around cooking and eating; film and video screenings; and ‘Food Fights’, a series of cooking contests and debates between leading art world professionals.
Tadasu Takamine is one of the most controversial, thought provoking, irreverent media, video and installation artist working in Japan right now. Takamine began his career as a member of the influential Japanese multimedia-performance group Dumb Type, which has existed since the 1980s. He has now been active for over a decade as a freelance director and artist, and has devoted himself to a theatre practice that he develops experimentally in workshops in dialogue with local participants. Both in the theatre as well as in artistic projects, he grapples with gnawing social questions provocatively and with dark humor.
In The Politics of Food exhibition, Takamine presents Japan Syndrome, a three-part performative video work that reflects on the social consequences of the catastrophic nuclear meltdown at Fukushima. It is not the first time that the artist has tackled this subject. His exhibition project Cool Japan (2012) made a reference to the campaign for marketing Japan that was launched in 2011 with the same title. In light of the ecological effects of the reactor catastrophe in Fukushima, promoting qualities such as the ‘coolness’ or serenity of the Japanese people illustrates the political efforts to utilise the population within the framework of the image campaign.
Kimura-San (2004), the artist’s most controversial video work, deals with the theme/subject of the possibilities for individual self-determination. The video installation circles around a victim of the Morinaga scandal, in which 138 infants died from milk products poisoned with arsenic in the 1950s, Mr. Kimura, who no longer has any more control over his body and cannot speak. The artist, who was among a group of people responsible for caring for him for five years, examines the sexual life of Mr. Kimura in his video, and in doing so poses general questions about the sexuality of disabled individuals as well as how they are depicted and addressed.
Takamine will be in conversation with curator Jonathan Watkins (Director, Ikon Gallery).