INDEPENDENT CURATORS INTERNATIONAL
exhibitions

My Reality: Contemporary Art and the Culture of Japanese Animation

  • My Reality, installation view, Chicago Cultural Center, 2002.

  • My Reality, installation view, Chicago Cultural Center, 2002.

  • My Reality, installation view, Chicago Cultural Center, 2002.

  • My Reality, installation view, Chicago Cultural Center, 2002.

  • My Reality, installation view, Chicago Cultural Center, 2002.

  • My Reality, installation view, Chicago Cultural Center, 2002.

  • My Reality, installation view, Chicago Cultural Center, 2002.

Curated by Jeff Fleming, Susan Talbott

Japanese animation (anime), which has attained almost cult status among young people globally during the past several decades, is increasingly breaking into the mainstream. My Reality: Contemporary Art and the Culture of Japanese Animation investigates the effect that this form of pop culture has had on today’s art in Japan and other Asian countries and in the West. Presenting works by artists from these different regions, the exhibition explores how Western and Eastern artists have influenced one another through their shared interest in the culture of anime.


American animated cartoons and comic books became popular among Japanese youth after World War II as part of their rebellion against post-Hiroshima society. In a countertrend, Japanese anime became popular in the U.S. and elsewhere around the world initially through limited importation of Japanese comic books (manga) and animated films. While anime has its origins in Japanese wood-block printing as well as American animation, it posits technology as a positive force in contemporary society and, therefore, much anime has a futuristic quality. The works in the exhibition focus on slick, sci-fi concepts such as futuristic technology, cyborgs and other humanoid robotics, aliens and fantastic creatures, and a post-nuclear apocalyptic landscape. The exhibition also explores social and economic themes such as gender roles, consumerism, and pop culture. The works on view range from Paul McCarthy’s cartoon characters to Micha Klein’s glossy images inspired by club culture; and from Takashi Murakami’s sculpture, which uses anime directly, to Momoyo Torimitsu’s enormous balloon rabbits, which satirize anime’s exaggeratedly cute images.

updates


curator

Jeff Fleming

Jeff Fleming is Director of the Des Moines Art Center and has also served as its Acting Director, Deputy Director, Senior Curator, and Curator. He was previously Chief Curator of Exhibitions at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Fleming studied at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina and holds a master of fine arts degree from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. His exhibition projects have focused on presenting the first one-person museum shows for younger, international artists. These artists include the American artists Tom Sachs, John Currin, Ellen Gallagher, Maya Lin, and Tom Friedman, as well as the German artists Christian Jankowski and Anselm Reyle, and the Chinese artist Yan Pei Ming. Group exhibition projects have included Magic Markers: Objects of Transformation; Aisle 5; and My Reality: Contemporary Art and the Culture of Japanese Animation. In 2011, Art and Living magazine named him one of eleven innovative directors of American museums.

Susan Talbott

Susan Talbott is Director and CEO of the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, America’s first public art museum.  Before coming to the Wadsworth, she was Director of Smithsonian Arts at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. (2005 to 2008), and the Des Moines Art Center (1998-2005.) She also served as the director of the Visual Arts program at the National Endowment for the Arts (1989-1992) and began her museum career in New York as Assistant Director at the Queens Museum and then as Branch Director at the Whitney Museum of American Art during the 1980s and 1990s. Susan Talbott has achieved national recognition as a director, curator and through her implementation of community engagement programs. She is a Harvard University Fellow and an alumna of the Art Museum Director’s Program. She received the Distinguished Service Award from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Alumna Achievement Award from her alma mater, Pratt Institute.


artists


touring schedule

The Hunstville Museum of Art
Huntsville, AL, United States
October 13, 2003 - January 4, 2004

Museum of Glass
Tacoma, WA, United States
July 12, 2003 - September 21, 2003

Norton Museum of Art
West Palm Beach, FL, United States
April 12, 2003 - June 15, 2003

Akron Art Museum
Akron, OH, United States
September 21, 2002 - January 5, 2003

Chicago Cultural Center
Chicago, IL, United States
July 13, 2002 - September 8, 2002

Tampa Museum of Art
Tampa, FL, United States
April 21, 2002 - June 23, 2002

The Contemporary Art Center
Cincinnati, OH, United States
January 24, 2002 - March 31, 2002

The Brookyn Museum of Art
Brooklyn, NY, United States
July 28, 2001 - October 7, 2001


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