Performativity and event in 1960s Japan: City, body, memory - Book Review

2017-11-08T01:19:58Z (GMT) by Karen Thomas
This book is compelling reading as it forges new pathways to thinking about the past through contemporary performance and mega-events that are filmed. The narrative is regularly peppered with fascinating detail about bodily acts that facilitate remediation and audience immersion (38-41) with Chapter Two devoted to the engaging topic of sensory immersion. Through performance-based detail, the author brings to the fore examples of'invisible' history. Zero Jigen's group performances, repetitious and ritualistic in nature, aimed to transform 'consciousness through artistic actions rather than ideology' (17-18). The Osaka Expo '70, documented in a little-known film, Australian Colour Diary No. 26, Expo '70 [1970], portrays the interplay between politics, culture and the arts as an example of liminal transformation that seeks to transform social anxiety and unrest into a 'positivist futurist (utopian) vision' (121). At the same time, the film discloses otherwise unseen experiences of physical pain, alienation, boredom and exhaustion via images and gestures that most often suggest a 'sensorial, embodied experience of being in a grand production line' (130).