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Throwing Shadows: Japanese Expanded Cinema

'Throwing Shadows' presents rare multi-projection works and film performances from the 1960-70s by Japanese artists, for the first time outside of Japan. The title takes its name from the literal translations of the Japanese characters that constitute 'projection' (tōei), a word that came into increasing usage in the 1960s to highlight the 'action' involved in the act of projection.

Presented in collaboration with Tate Modern, the two-part programme at IFFR seeks to de-Westernise the historicisation of expanded cinema as it currently stands with a celebration of activity that took place in the Japanese underground.

Live acts

In the opening night of sound//vision (Thursday 28 Jan, 22:00, Worm), Throwing Shadows: Performances will present three live acts:

  • Miyai Rikuro will present the double-projection work Phenomenology of Zeitgeist with live music accompaniment by Belgian musician Floris Vanhoof. Miyai’s camera glides through central Tokyo encountering performances and happenings by artists such as Zero Jigen on its way, all presented in a 'single take', which is then compromised by the presentation of the film as an overlapping double-projection of the same film with two prints.
  • Okuyama Jun’ichi (IFFR 2008) will present his classic cut-and-paste expanded cinema works: a live-painting of an abstract animation in Being Painted (1975); a six-projection projection environment with Regular 8 is 16mm Film / LIVE (2006); and his legendary double-projection Human Flicker (1975) where man becomes machine.
  • Former Tiger-winner Makino Takashi will present Action Direct (2015) with live improvised music by Belgian musicians Dirk Serries & Teun Verbruggen. The tour diary of free jazz musician Takayanagi Masayuki in 1984, shot by Makino’s deceased friend and music critic Seojima Teruto, became the basis for the found footage abstract film.

Psychedelia and pop

The following afternoon (Fri 29 Jan, 14:15, LantarenVenster), the programme ‘Throwing Shadows: Short Films’ will present multi-projection and single-screen works from the 1960-70s that engage with Japanese psychedelia and pop.16mm multi-projection works will engage with the frenetic vibrancy of city life and the drug-induced alteration of the time experience.

  • The double-projection 4 Eyes (1975) by artist Tanaami Keiichi (IFFR ) presents two prints of the same film projected with a delay to convey the slippage of the mind.
  • Matsumoto Toshio’s overlapping triple-projection For the Damaged Right Eye (1968) will be presented at Tate and IFFR for the first time with strobe-light configurations since 1968.
  • Great Society (1967) by Oe Masanori and Marvin Fishman is a U.S-Japan collaboration mixes U.S newsreel footage on six 16mm projectors.
  • Other single-projection works include: a psychedelic animation on city life Illusion City (1967) by Shimamura Tatsuo; the dynamic boxing match Why (1975) by Tanaami Keeichi; a mocking take on the reverence of everyday objects in pop art in At Any Place 2 (1975) by Idemitsu Mako; and her hilarious gender and cultural collision in Inner Man (1972).