Performanztheoretische Perspektiven auf japanische Kulturen des Bildes
This essay addresses different perspectives of performativity on Japanese visual cultures. In juxtaposing theoretical reflections on the performativity of images in Western art history with performative phenomena in Japanese visual cultures, it aims at encouraging a promising interdisciplinary dialogue. The first chapter summarizes theoretical approaches to the notion of cultural performance and performance studies relevant to the art-historical debate on performativity.
The second chapter outlines ongoing theoretical reflections in the German speaking scientific community of art history. The debate centers on performativity but also intersects with ideas concerning the general nature of images as deictic communication systems (iconic difference) and their capability to convince the viewer through visual affection (iconic evidence). It furthermore touches the question of who is acting in performative processes within as well as with images – the images themselves (image act) or the viewers (gaze act).The third chapter introduces three exemplary approaches to Japanese images and visual cultures from performance-theoretical perspectives, namely to painting on the spot (sekiga), to the cultural normalization of the brushstroke as an expression of the painter’s personality, and to Morimura Yasumasa’s photographic Art History Series as a contemporary example. The outlook focuses on the historic and ongoing art-historical approaches to act with images, discussing art history itself as being actively involved in performative processes.