Known for his use of bread as a universal symbol for communication, Japanese performance artist Tatsumi Orimoto uses bread yet again as his main element in his performance Punishment. In this work, performed in the section Performing ARCO, several people are tied to a post and have their eyes blindfolded, with a box full of bread hanging from around their necks. One after another, they fall to the ground, and the bread spills out accross the floor.
“Tatsumi’s performance might well make allusion to the crucifixion of 26 Christian missionaries in Japan in the 16th century, as punishment for their perceived destabilising influence. Orimoto thus expresses how the carrier of bread, the bearer of a different other message, is seen as a threat and is persecuted and martyred. Through the bread scattered on the floor in Punishment, we are witnesses to this waste of communication.” (excerpt from the press release).
Tatsumi Orimoto was born in Kawasaki City, Japan, in 1946. He studied at the Institute of Art, California, and has been Assistent of Nam June Paik. In 1977 he returned to Japan. He lives and works in Kawasaki City. In 2008 he had a retrospective at MASP Sao Paulo.
Tatsumi Orimoto: Punishment. Performance at ARCOmadrid_2009, February 12, 2009. Represented by DNA, Berlin.
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