Yasumasa Morimura goes political

one of the contemporary artist that i like goes political, which means changing gender.
"Art is basically entertainment" says Yasumasa Morimura, "Even Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci were entertainers. In that way, I am an entertainer and want to make art that is fun."

For more than two decades, Yasumasa Morimura, one of Japan's most internationally celebrated artists, has inserted his own face into iconic paintings by van Gogh, Manet and Rembrandt, as well as portraits of stars such as Marilyn Monroe and Vivian Leigh. With his elaborate, hilarious and often gender-bending self-portraits, Morimura has both commented on Japan's complex love-hate relationship with Western culture and investigated the ambiguity between male and female identities.
But his latest series, "Season of Passion/A Requiem: Chapter I," which will be revealed in a solo exhibition at Tokyo's Shugoarts gallery in November, is something different. In "Season," he impersonates the men in photographs of some of the most memorable, politically charged postwar incidents: author Yukio Mishima in his failed 1970 call for a coup d'etat at the Self-Defense Force (SDF) headquarters; Lee Harvey Oswald being shot by Jack Ruby in 1963; and 17-year-old rightwinger Otoya Yamaguchi stabbing Japanese socialist leader Inejiro Asanuma in 1960. In a video piece included in the new series, Morimura delivers an impassioned speech based on the one Mishima gave just before he killed himself -- but instead of confronting Japan, Morimura attacks the art world. He protests that art today is "dancing to the tune of the mass media . . . drunk on global strategies and commercialism and selling itself out."

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