Edited with text by Susanne Pfeffer. Text by Mike Kelley, Antje Krause-Wahl, Reiko Tomii.
From ecological apocalypticism to new materialist posthumanism: the prescient sculpture of an influential Japanese Neo-Dadaist
Over a period of three decades, from the mid-1950s to the late 1980s, the Japanese artist Tetsumi Kudo (1935–90) created a consistent body of work that significantly foreshadowed what is now known as posthumanism and new materialism. His colored neon contaminations, limp penises, tattered flaps of skin and lone body parts wrapped in cocoons bring humanist self-assurance crashing to the ground. What appears as poison or chemical devastation is in fact an appeal to understand metamorphosis as a perpetual state of being. This sensibility is particularly evident in post-nuclear Japanese culture, where the destruction of the bombs permeates every facet of life and makes apparent the fragility of our organic bodies. This catalog brings together contributions by artists and theorists and documents Kudo’s oeuvre in plates and archival images, as well as exhibition views from his retrospective at the Fridericianum in 2016.
Softcover, 7.75 x 10.25 in., 356 pgs, 191 color, 44 bw., published in Germany, 2021