FEBRUARY 25 (M0NDAY) JAPAN
Denny Hall 401
The World Is Superflat: Art and Politics in Contemporary Japan
Marilyn Ivy, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University
Marilyn Ivy is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Columbia University. Author of Discourses of the Vanishing: Modernity, Phantasm, Japan (Chicago, 1995), she has written widely on Japanese modernity and mass culture. Her recent work has focused on the relationship of contemporary art and aesthetics to neonationalist politics and the question of war.
Starting from journalist Thomas Friedman's hit book The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century, this lecture considers how Japan figures in current globalization dicourses.Whereas Japan represented the future, both economically and technologically, in the 1980s, its status in the early twenty-first century is much more uncertain (for example, China
and India have displaced Japan in American musings on competing economic superpowers). Parallel to this shift in American perceptions of Japan, however, is the increasing market value of (certain) Japanese art works on the international market. "Cool Japan" products and aesthetic innovations continue to attract international attention and capital. Using the phenomenon of Japanese neo-pop art and the so-called "Superflat" productions
of art stars Takashi Murakami and Yoshitomo Nara, the lecture analyzes how the hippest of contemporary Japanese art, American-Japanese political relations, and shifting global economics come together in unexpected ways.
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Co-sponsored by the Japan Studies Program, Department of Anthropology, Department of Asian Languages and Literature, and the Simpson Center.
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