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Mitate and quotation in the Morimura Yasumasa’s artwork : Self-portrait of art history



ID: <10670/1.dyil4b>


Quotation and mitate are mimetic processes present in the photographic self-portraits of Morimura Yasumasa and in the Japanese postmodern art. Quoting Western master pieces and cinema, Morimura recreates a history of image and art in the Japanese framework and in the Kansai landscape. Although the quotation, imitation and copy are characteristics of his production, the artiste and Japanese critics had never noticed or questioned the influence of mitate. And despite Japanese contemporary arts are considered in the international Postmodernism and Simulation’s movements, this thesis shows that the reading of the mitate allows a specific and an exclusive re-examination of the Japanese art history. After comparing ukiyo-e from the Edo period and contemporary artworks, we ascertain a clear definition of mitate, as an analogical “transposition” based on outward forms to create a new poetic, theatrical and parodic image. Consequently, the demonstration of the playful mitate in the Japanese contemporary visual wakagumi attests that artists bring into play the vision of the image, rather than its signification. Finally, mitate insides the Morimura’ self-portraits lead to a plastic, conceptual and gendered dichotomy. In this case, gender and media in Japan give a new examination of his production, and makes appears the vision of a third gender likes to the wakashû. Thus, artists and contemporary mitate-e testify the exchanges, influences and impacts between Western and Japanese arts to introduce a first gap with the European art history and its conceptions.

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