Introduction はじめに

Performance art is currently one of the art fields attracting the most attention, as evidenced by the awards for the pavilions at this year’s Lithuanian and the German in 2017 at Venice Biennale and acquisitions at the Department of Media and Performance Art at the New York MOMA to name some. Despite its rich history and activities of living performance artists world-wide, opportunities for activities and presentations in Japan is rather limited. Through this project, we would like to satisfy the demands from international cultural and artistic community by expanding the possibilities of performance art in Japan and building multi layered networks which will contribute to the development of this field in various parts of Asia and beyond.

Responding: International Performance Art Festival and Meeting is a brand new international platform which evokes critical dialogues on social and environmental issues through the process of its production. By gathering glocally active performance artists and conducting research, production and presentation of performance art, we will shed new light on the difficult issues we face in our present-day society from various perspectives. In addition, by holding related symposiums inviting experts and researchers from various fields, we will deepen our understanding of these issues. Within post globalism and/or neo-liberalism world, we can instantaneously connect with a wide variety of people all over the globe via social networks. We belong to plural units indicating society called "community." Starting with family, friends, workplace, gender, hobby-oriented, and in large, language sphere, political views, nationality, etc. Our existence lies within multiple communities intermingled in complexity, and it often make us suffocate and feel difficult to get by. In that case, let us "Respond" to "real" of society freely with the sensibility of ten different strokes for ten different folks. Praxis of performance art as a means to do it. It is a new community itself, a new language that artists, researchers and audiences experience in the same sense of air on the site. Then, by forming a network that enables sharing and dialogue of problem recognition in the common language, we will deepen mutual understanding of social issues unique in each locality.

From "R1" the first year in 2018 (Tokyo and the coastal areas of Fukushima Prefecture where affected by 2011 earthquake and tsunami), "R2: monumentED" the second year in 2019 has developed activities in cities of Osaka in Japan (Osaka City Arts Council Grantssupport program )and Manila in the Philippines (The National Arts Center of the Philippines exhibition including the documentation is scheduled for 2021), and its third year "R3:Scape-City" will take place at a cultural sector called "SUWA-ANIMISM" in the Suwa Basin area of Nagano Prefecture Japan in June, 2020. Thereby building a multilayered network in Japan's regional and Asian cultural spheres, the project in 2021 will be extended in Singapore as the second year of the collaboration project with Singapore's The Artists Village (TAV*) (All postponed for 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic).

This multi-regional platform will be an opportunity to reconsider the relationship between society and art (please be reminded that we keep a notable distance from ‘Socially Engaged Art’) from international perspectives. Artists in short-term residencies for their productions and presentations in each region are often regarded as “outsiders” by the local community, and are difficult to become "very people involved in or affected by" local social issues. In particular, when performative activities crossing national borders as in this project, artists as "outsiders" are also "foreigners" who have quite different socio-cultural backgrounds. Rather, this project will focus on the phase in which the artists’ participatory dilutes to the limit towards foreignized, accepting the issues included in such a situation themselves, and rethinking the meaning of “facing the others.” In performance art, artist's body itself is visualized as an expression of art, hence the artist's "foreign sensation" as an "outsider" in the community tends to stand out. The act of such "outsiders" entering the community may appear to be violent intervention in the eyes of the local residents. Perhaps in principle, such nature of violence will inevitably accompany in all human relationships. However, instead of staying on the sidelines to avoid the nature of violence, or trying to harmonize and fuse with the community to overcome the nature of violence on the surface level, what will happen if we face the challenges of the community issues while sincerely accepting impactful expressions on violent nature of performance art?

This project investigates this question through three distinctive phases: (1) the phase of "Intervention (Step-In)" in which the artists step into the community, (2) the phase of "Responding" in which the artists try to respond to local issues by their artwork, and (3) the phase of "Feedback" by the audience or the locals react to the performance art resulted by (1) plus (2). At the regional art festivals nowadays quite popular in Japan, the emphasis has been on "connections" between art and local communities, and there have been many exhibitions and activities involving local residents and local themes. On the other hand, in recent years, there have also been a movement to critically reexamine the current social issues in depth by questioning the predicted outcomes of shallow harmonious relationship between art and local communities. Inserting the above processes, this project will pursue the social and artistic significance of the possibility as artists will face the regional social issues as "outsiders." By crossing national and regional boundaries and "facing the others," this project will explore the meaning and reality of multicultural coexistence of our time.



1年目のR1(東京及びに福島県沿岸部)から、2年目のR2は、大阪市(大阪市芸術活動振興事業助成)及びにフィリピンのマニラで活動を展開し(2021年にはフィリピン国立文化センターCCPにて活動記録を含めてグループ展内定)、3年目に当たる本事業R3「Scape-City」では、シンガポールのアーティスツ・ビレッジ(TAV* The Artists Village)との共催によって、2020年度には長野県諏訪盆地地域の「スワニミズム」と呼ばれる文化圏にて、翌2021年には、シンガポールにて本事業の継続、発展形の活動を行い、これによって、日本の地域文化圏とアジア文化圏における多層的なネットワークを構築する。(コロナ禍の影響により来年以降に延期)。