Collaborative, ephemeral, self-reflective, multidisciplinarythe work generated by the rapid series of experimental artistic movements that energized the public sphere in postwar Japan was anything but private, static, or expected, despite the enduring engagement of Japanese artists with Western modernism. For two decades, a small but progressive group of visual artists, musicians, dancers, theater performers, and writers variously confronted the fraught legacy of World War II in Japan, which included occupation by a foreign power, growing economic inequality, and the clash between repressive social mores and an increasingly industrialized, urban, and consumer-oriented culture. Art, Anti-Art, Non-Art offers an introduction to this highly charged and innovative era in Japanese artistic practice.
Published in conjunction with an exhibition on view at the Getty Research Institute from March 6 to
June 3, 2007, this catalogue features objects, books, periodicals, photographs, and other ephemera created by artists associated with Experimental Workshop, Gutai, High Red Centre, Neo Dada, Provoke, Tokyo Fluxus, and VIVO, among others.
Charles Merewether is artistic director and curator of the 2006 Biennale of Sydney and a senior research fellow at the Centre for Cross-Cultural Research, Australian National University. Rika Iezumi Hiro is a research assistant at the Getty Research Institute.