Monday, May 12, 2014

BODY ART #11 - pause - and the Butoh?

We continue to introduce some artists who have chosen to use the body (often their body) as the "canvas" or the "marble" on which express their creativity or pulsions.

This is an important branch of contemporary art that has its roots in the nature of human being and in the desire to modify the body or to show on it signs that link the person to a wider reality (community, culture, gods, myth...).

Among the artists we represent, it's sure that Rabarama art is influenced by the attention and focus on the body. She has her peculiar view on the theme and she is agile in changing the subjet to object in a big game of mutation: she could create on her body, with her body, on stone or metal bodies, on others' bodies.

In this way the subject is present but fades in a different concept of individuality, merging with the billions of possibilities of reality.

In August, 2014, she will be the protagonist of the RABARAMA BODY ART FESTIVAL, more information here

BODY ART #11: Butoh 

What has become of our bodies? - Tatsumi Hijikata (1928-86)

Body and art: the term "art" is related to the Latin word "ars" with the meaning of doing, creating a thing with ones hands and mind. But what we create is a representation of something natural or inside our mind, so I would paraphrase Arthur Schopenhauer, writing: "The Art as Will of Representation". 
I find difficult to think to a form of art more focused on the representation of the body (intended as what it is really: the only thing we are and in which there is mind, psyche, history, emotions, body, fantasies, etc) than the Butoh.

The Butoh or Ankoku Butoh  (Dance of Darkness) is an artistic representation of the depths, idiosyncrasies, passions and desires of men, trying to make visible our "skeleton" or what is hidden in us because of culture, social pressures, personal experiences. Our true complete body, we can say.

Here are some visual stimuli around butoh and the "artistical river" it created:

Butoh - the scream of the body

Butoh - Kazuo Ohno
The Beauty of the Body beyond any concept of beauty

It is interesting to notice that the Butoh - born inside Japanese culture - could represent a link with the European gothic aesthetic and culture.
Both of them focus on a symbolic Darkness to represent the Body, approaching the fundamental, and funding, human theme of Eros-Thanatos, looking for the answers about our life (body) in the contemplation of death (darkness) producing touching representations as results of this quest.
Some images (an artist) which speak more than the letters here above:

Sopor Aeternus
Sopor Aeternus

An Oriental artist who well represent this "link" between Japanese and European cultures on the theme is surely Yukio Mishima, who will close this particular circle around body and art: 
Mishima is directly related to Butoh because the first ankoku butoh show by Hijikata ( the founder of Butoh) was inspired by Mishima's novel  Kinjiki.
And surely all the mature production of Mishima is focused on the body. Starting from this "sympathy" for the Dance of Darkness, he has then affirmed with all his creative force the solar nature of the body, sacrificing it directly to the descendant of a Sun divinity.
From the darkness to the screaming light of the seppuku, which has taken him in the darkness of death, in a lightning.

Yukio Mishima

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