Dance of Death: A Reenactment of Modern Tokyo in Three Scenes
This event was organized in connection to research on the photograph Dance of Death, first published in a magazine titled Mavo (Tokyo, 1924). Mavo magazine was created as part of a collaboration between a Japanese avant-garde artist group associated under the same name, and is a remarkable artifact of global modernity largely overlooked in western art history.
Schedule of Events:
Café 7:00 pm
Cafés were important meeting places among avant-garde circles in Tokyo as in many other cities during the 1920s. Participate in a group meal by helping to assemble gyoza (dumplings) and onigiri (rice balls). Kitsuné udon and sake will also be served.
Presentation 9:00 pm
A presentation by Kara Jefts will place Mavo artists into context in 1920s Tokyo, explaining the uncertainty of this post-disaster earthquake moment in Japan and the artists’ interest in play and the political, which resulted in the creation of the photograph Dance of Death.
Reenactment 10:00 pm
Audience members can volunteer to reenact the image Dance of Death. Guided by three artists, participants will dress in a wardrobe designed by Dave J. Bermingham, accesorized with props facilitated by Tongyu (Toni) Zhao, and finally, will have their image captured by photographer Leonard Suryajaya. The reenactment is not intended to be an exact replica of the image, but to allow all participants (subject, artist, and audience) to conjure their own set of associations between past moment and present context.
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