Performative Recollection and Parallax Memory: Perpetrator and Victim War Memory in Contemporary Japanese Video Art

Key information

5:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Russell Square: College Buildings
Khalili Lecture Theatre (KLT)
Event type
Event highlights

About this event

Speaker: Ayelet Zohar (Tel Aviv University)

Photo caption: Koizumi Meirō, Melodrama for Men #5 - Voice of a Dead Hero, 2010   Performance. Performed at Ginza and Yasukuni Shrine, Tokyo, on August 8,2010. Documentation of the performance: 21min


In recent years, questions regarding Japanese responsibility for war atrocities and crimes have come back to take centerstage, to become part of the themes considered by contemporary artists in Japan. My coming book, articulates a new mode of perception and memory which is parallax and complex, containing the guilt of perpetrators alongside the trauma of the victim, the remembrance of the aggressions and pains of defeat, as part of contemporary Japanese discourses on war memory. In my presentation I shall discuss a group of video art pieces by Japanese artists Koizumi Meirō, Morimura Yasumasa and Yamashiro Chikako, in which perpetrator notions are being performed and reenacted vis-à-vis the parallax memories of wartime actions.

Speaker biography

Ayelet Zohar is a researcher of modern and contemporary Japanese art, specializing in post-Shōwa photography and video art. Zohar is the Guest Editor of special issue of Review of Japanese Culture and Society, Vol. 31 (2019), titled: “Photography of the Heisei Era (1989-2019): Memory and Transformation, Crisis and Opportunities”. Zohar was the curator of Beyond Hiroshima: The Return of the Repressed, War Memory in Contemporary Japanese Photography and Video Art (The Genia Schreibr Tel Aviv University Art Gallery, 2015), and the editor of an anthology of articles that accompanied the exhibition. 

Zohar received her PhD from the Slade School of Fine Art (UCL), University of London, in 2007, followed by postdoctoral fellowships at Stanford University and the Smithsonian Institution, before she joined the Art History Department at Tel Aviv University (2015). She was a visiting scholar at Hokkaidō University, Waseda University, Yale University, Nichibunken (Kyoto), and is currently a Visiting Scholar at the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures, University of East Anglia (UEA), Norwich, completing her book manuscript on Performative Recollection and Parallax Memory.


This event is free and open to public. Please note that this event will be held in-person and online.

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Organiser: SOAS Japan Research Centre

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