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Activism Beyond the Pleasure Principle? Homelessness and Art in the Shinjuku Underground

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Författare Carl Cassegård
Publicerad i Third Text
Volym 27
Nummer/häfte 5
Sidor 620-633
ISSN 0952-8822
Publiceringsår 2013
Publicerad vid Institutionen för sociologi och arbetsvetenskap
Sidor 620-633
Språk en
Länkar dx.doi.org/10.1080/09528822.2013.83...
Ämnesord cultural activism, homeless movement, therapeutical activism, trauma, grotesque, cardboard village
Ämneskategorier Konst

Sammanfattning

Cultural movements in today's Japan are often said to give a prominent place to fun and humour, and to represent a shift towards prefigurative rather than instrumental forms of politics. The author relativizes this portrayal by focusing on how art was used in the struggle around the cardboard village in the Shinjuku underground passages in Tokyo in the mid-1990s. In particular he focuses on the artist Take Jun'ichir who with his friends painted more than a hundred cardboard houses in the homeless encampment. He argues that the cardboard village art was immensely political, but in a sense that cannot be exhausted by conventional concepts such as instrumental or prefigurative politics. Instead, the article suggests that a concept of therapeutical activism is needed to make sense of the centrality in the cardboard art of themes such as death, monsters and uncanny births.

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