Engaged Critic, Radical Art: Yoshida Yoshie in Art and Performance

Tuesday, Feb 20, 2018 - 10:00am to 6:00pm

Celebrating the donation of the Yoshida Yoshie Collection to the UCLA Library, this symposium will discuss the life and work of this influential critic, organizer, artist, and poet.Organized and hosted by William Marotti, UCLA associate professor of history, the daylong event will introduce Yoshida’s manifold activities while locating his activities within the broader art and performance world in which he worked.

Over some six decades of work, Yoshida (1929-2016) was instrumental in engaging, participating, and promoting radical art and performance. He introduced Maruki Iri and Maruki Toshi’s Hiroshima Panels in the early 1950s, traveling to more than three hundred locations throughout Japan. As a critic in the 1960s and beyond, Yoshida championed avant-gardes in art, dance, cinema, music, and performance, including Hi Red Center, Neo-Dada, butoh practicioners, and the artists of the Yomiuri Indépendant exhibitions. He supported artists prosecuted for protest including Akasegawa Genpei and anti-Expo performers.

Yoshida took the lead in supporting conceptual, environmental, and commune-oriented art endeavors, including organizing the first free festival in Japan in 1971. From 1973 he traveled to São Paolo and Buenos Aires organizing exhibitions. Returning to Japan, he participated in the Artist Union and its artist-led symposia and exhibitions and, from 1977, the Japan Asia Africa Latin America Artist Association, with a focus on solidarity with “third world” artists and activists.

On view at the event will be a display of works and ephemera from the Yoshida Yoshie Collection, which contains significant portions of his library and archival materials.

Event Schedule:

10 a.m.: Welcome and Introduction: William Marotti, UCLA Department of History

10:15 a.m.: The Library and the Collection: Sharon Farb, Associate University Librarian for Special Collections and International Collaborations

10:30 a.m.: Biographical and analytical sketch of Yoshida Yoshie: Yoshiko Shimada, PhD, artist, and researcher

11:15 a.m.: Tour of displays

Noon: Break

1 p.m.: A Photographic Introduction to Art and Performance of the 1960s: Hanaga Mitsutoshi Photo Presentation by Hanaga Taro

1:45 p.m. The Kodomo no Kuni Controversy: Kenji Kajiya, University of Tokyo

2:30 p.m.: Yoshida Yoshie and Art and Project: Peter van der Meijden, University of Copenhagen

3 p.m.: Living Differently Now: The Utopian Exhibition in Sweden that Matsuzawa Had to Join: Tania Ørum, University of Copenhagen

3:45 p.m. Roundtable: Art and Performance in the 1960s/Early 1970s: Experiments, Collectives, Solidarities

5 p.m.: Reception

Special thanks to Kakuya and Atsushi Yoshida and the Yoshida family; the Terasaki Center for Japanese Studies; Japanese Arts and Globalizations Research Group, directed by William Marotti, History; and artist and researcher Yoshiko Shimada