Lost In Translation


I guess if Kaikai Kiki had wanted the name of its biannual Toyko otaku art fair, Geisai, spelled properly, they should've upgraded Walter Robinson's seat for him. Instead, as he wrote, he had to use his own frequent flier miles to get out of coach [which is the only sensible thing to do, of course, on a 13-hr flight. and the article has since been corrected]:

Murakami sat on the floor and spoke briefly about Geisei [sic] #10. It had been a success, he said, to the extent that it had given young artists a chance to show their work and make contacts.This latest fair had also begun to reach an international audience -- we ourselves were the tautological proof of that.
Now, I'm actually a big fan of Japan's otaku cultures and the DIY sensibility that underpins both the kawaii school of crafty, little artmaking as well as the whole jishu eiga/self-made movie trend. Murakami deserves plenty of credit for trying to bring this kind of creative production to the art world's [sic] attention, or to formulate a more sophisticated context for it, anyway. [That said, Murakami worship needs some context, too; while he creates the open forum for an all-comers art fair on the one hand, he happily sends his characters to the front to provide cultural cover for complicated-at-least developers like the Moris, whose massive Roppongi Hills megaplex is a Kaikai Kiki-branded project. And it sounds like the "fancy downtown hotel" [sic] where the junketeers stayed. Good to hear Tokyo's "downtown" is improving.]

But from Robinson's bemused, deracinated gaijin schtick, it doesn't sound like he even cracked the spine on Murakami's intensely argued Little Boy exhibition catalogue before he accepted the artist's hospitality. Fortunately, the movement, such as it is, is probably as uninterested in Robinson's clueless opinions as he is with trying to grasp what's in front of him.

walter_robinson_pointy_melon.jpg image: shibuyabuya

I wonder who else went? And while I'm less interested in whether they disclose the junket, and more interested in hearing what someone has to say whose pointy melon hasn't been so shaped by the art world's tiny box.

Murakami, Impresario [artnet]
Previously: Tokyo Snapshots - Takashi Murakami Corp. 08/05
Geisai #10 [geisai.net]
Takashi Murakami interview before Geisai #10 [tokyoartbeat]

update: that didn't take long. I hear that art magazine folks Judd Tully (Art & Auction), Cathy Bird (Art & Antiques), Dan Fox (Frieze) and a couple of others took the trip. I'd be surprised if someone from the new LTB title Culture & Travel wasn't tagging along, too.

Since 2001 here at greg.org, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting greg.org that time.

comments? questions? tips? pitches? email
greg [at] greg [dot ] org

find me on twitter: @gregorg

post info

first published: September 27, 2006.

next older post:
Michael Weiss Devastates His Reputation As A Dude

next newer post:
In Milano Veritas

recent projects, &c.

Our Guernica Cycle, 2017 –
about/kickstarter | exhibit, 2017

Social Medium:
artists writing, 2000-2015
Paper Monument, Oct. 2016
ed. by Jennifer Liese
buy, $28

Madoff Provenance Project in
'Tell Me What I Mean' at
To__Bridges__, The Bronx
11 Sept - Oct 23 2016
show | beginnings

Chop Shop
curated by Magda Sawon
1-7 March 2016

eBay Test Listings
Armory – ABMB 2015
about | proposte monocrome, rose

It Narratives, incl.
Shanzhai Gursky & Destroyed Richter
Franklin Street Works, Stamford
Sept 5 - Nov 9, 2014
about | link

TheRealHennessy Tweets Paintings, 2014 -

Standard Operating Procedure
about | buy now, 284pp, $15.99

CZRPYR2: The Illustrated Appendix
Canal Zone Richard Prince
YES RASTA 2:The Appeals Court
Decision, plus the Court's
Complete Illustrated Appendix (2013)
about | buy now, 142pp, $12.99

"Exhibition Space" @ apexart, NYC
Mar 20 - May 8, 2013
about, brochure | installation shots

HELP/LESS Curated by Chris Habib
Printed Matter, NYC
Summer 2012
panel &c.

Destroyed Richter Paintings, 2012-
background | making of
"Richteriana," Postmasters Gallery, NYC

Canal Zone Richard
Selected Court Documents
from Cariou v. Prince (2011)
about | buy now, 376pp, $17.99