Circle the Square: Film Performances by Iimura Takahiko in the 1960s by Julian Ross.
by florence cheval
This is an excerpt of an article written by Julian Ross for post (notes on modern and contemporary art around the globe)
Between 1963 and the 1970s, Iimura Takahiko, an experimental filmmaker and video artist, challenged conventional experiences of cinema by putting an emphasis on the performative aspect of film projection through activities he called “film performances.” The presentation below is a collection of what has survived from Iimura Takahiko’s film performances, which illustrate his inventive approaches, including: taking the projector out of the cinema and into other spaces, using multiple projectors, projecting against surfaces other than the screen, and adjusting both the position and mechanics of the projection apparatus during the event. At the height of intermedia as an artistic approach, Iimura saw collaborations with artists from other fields as opportunities to rethink the possibilities of filmmaking and as a way to free it from its industrial confines. While most literature on expanded cinema has focused on activities that took place in the United States and Europe, Iimura’s “film performances” reveal that it was not only in the West that such pursuits were taking place. The presentation, along with the accompanying essay, aims to show that Iimura was a pioneer in seeking alternative approaches to moving-image presentation, that his performances were crucial to the development of his style, and that the performative turn in Japanese postwar art also infiltrated cinema.
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