Sakaiminato is the hometown of manga cartoonist Shigeru Mizuki. A street of the town is dedicated to the ghosts, monsters and characters that appear in his stories, a hundred of bronze statues are on the both sides of the road. There is also a dedicated museum.
photographs by ftz
Souzou: Outsider Art from Japan
Thursday 28 March 2013 – Sunday 30 June 2013
Souzou is a word which has no direct equivalent in English but a dual meaning in Japanese: written in one way – 創造 – it means creation and in another – 想像 – imagination. Both meanings allude to a force by which new ideas are born and take shape in the world. In the context of this exhibition, Souzou refers to the practice of 46 self-taught artists living and working within social welfare facilities across Japan.
The phrase ‘Outsider Art’ is an imperfect approximation of another term that does not translate comfortably into English. Coined by British academic Roger Cardinal in 1972, ‘Outsider Art’ follows French artist Jean Dubuffet’s theory of art brut, formulated in the mid-1940s, meaning a ‘raw art’, ‘uncooked’ or uncontaminated by culture. ‘Outsider Art’ has since become an internationally recognised term, commonly used to describe work made by artists who have received little or no tuition but produce work for the sake of creation alone, without an audience in mind, and who are perceived to inhabit the margins of mainstream society. The artists in this exhibition have been diagnosed with a variety of different cognitive, behavioural and developmental disorders or mental illnesses, and are residents or day attendees of specialist care institutions.
Outsider Art has followed different trajectories in Europe and Japan. In Europe, it developed in tandem with the discipline of psychiatry, with a handful of doctors collecting their patients’ works as diagnostic aids from the 1850s onwards. Most notably, in his 1922 study Artistry of the Mentally Ill, the German art historian turned psychiatrist Hans Prinzhorn laid the foundations of a theory in which the works were judged as potent creative acts in and of themselves rather than being symptomatic of illness. Around the same time, those in avant-garde artistic circles, such as the Surrealists, began to take an active interest in what they saw as expressions of the subconscious by psychiatric patients, children and so-called ‘primitive’ non-Western cultures. These factors contributed to Dubuffet’s anti-establishment ideology of art brut and coincided with developments in psychiatry after World Wars I and II, including the rise of art therapy and occupational therapy, which were pioneered during the treatment of shell-shocked soldiers… (from the introduction, continue reading)
Jindřich Štyrský: Dreams
Through April 30, 2012
Ubu Gallery is pleased to present Jindřich Štyrský: Dreams, an exhibition of photographs, collages, drawings and publications by the preeminent Czech avant-garde artist. Photographs from Na jehlách těchto dní [On the Needles of These Days, 1941] and collages from his erotic chef d’oeuvre Emilie Prichazi Ke Mne Ve Snu [Emilie comes to Me in a Dream, 1933] are among those on display… [continue reading]
L’ange du bizarre. Le romantisme noir de Goya à Max Ernst
The Angel of the Odd. Dark Romanticism from Goya to Max Ernst
5 March – 9 June 2013
Musée d’Orsay – Paris
It was in the 1930s that the Italian writer and art historian Mario Praz (1896-1982) first highlighted the dark side of Romanticism, thus naming a vast swathe of artistic creation, which from the 1760s onwards exploited the shadows, excesses and irrational elements that lurked behind the apparent triumph of enlightened Reason.
This world was created in the English Gothic novels of the late 18th century, a genre of literature that fascinated the public with its penchant for the mysterious and the macabre. The visual arts quickly followed suit: many painters, engravers and sculptors throughout Europe vied with the writers to create horrifying and grotesque worlds: Goya and Géricault presented us with the senseless atrocities of war and the horrifying shipwrecks of their time, Füssli and Delacroix gave substance to the ghosts, witches and devils of Milton, Shakespeare and Goethe, whereas C.D. Friedrich and Carl Blechen cast the viewer into enigmatic, gloomy landscapes, reflecting his fate… [continue reading]