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Money, Trains, and Guillotines: Art and Revolution in 1960s Japan by William Marotti (review)

Money, Trains, and Guillotines: Art and Revolution in 1960s Japan by William Marotti (review) Money, Trains, and Guillotines: Art and Revolution in 1960s Japan. By William Marotti. Duke University Press, Durham, 2013. xxii, 417 pages. $94.95, cloth; $25.95, paper. Reviewed by Simon Avenell Australian National University William Marotti's book is a landmark study of political art and the politics of artistic expression in contemporary Japan. Marotti's self-described "microhistory" (p. 312) immerses us in the world of avant-garde artistic production and performance in the wake of the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty (Anpo) protests of 1960 in an attempt to investigate "the politics of culture and the everyday" (p. 2). Through the eyes and experiences of artists such as Akasegawa Genpei, Marotti uncovers a fascinating, provocative, and sometimes-shocking history of political art in which the protagonists struggled to expose "unconscious forms of domination in the everyday world" and tried desperately to imagine and implement strategies for "radical transformation" which would bring some of them into conflict with the state (p. 28). Marotti's attention to detail and to the emotional life of his subjects is truly engrossing in the best traditions of microhistory. Indeed, this is a big book (over 300 pages of text alone) which should be savored rather than skimmed. But it is far http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of Japanese Studies Society for Japanese Studies

Money, Trains, and Guillotines: Art and Revolution in 1960s Japan by William Marotti (review)

The Journal of Japanese Studies , Volume 40 (2) – Jul 19, 2014

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Publisher
Society for Japanese Studies
Copyright
Copyright © Society for Japanese Studies.
ISSN
1549-4721
Publisher site
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Abstract

Money, Trains, and Guillotines: Art and Revolution in 1960s Japan. By William Marotti. Duke University Press, Durham, 2013. xxii, 417 pages. $94.95, cloth; $25.95, paper. Reviewed by Simon Avenell Australian National University William Marotti's book is a landmark study of political art and the politics of artistic expression in contemporary Japan. Marotti's self-described "microhistory" (p. 312) immerses us in the world of avant-garde artistic production and performance in the wake of the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty (Anpo) protests of 1960 in an attempt to investigate "the politics of culture and the everyday" (p. 2). Through the eyes and experiences of artists such as Akasegawa Genpei, Marotti uncovers a fascinating, provocative, and sometimes-shocking history of political art in which the protagonists struggled to expose "unconscious forms of domination in the everyday world" and tried desperately to imagine and implement strategies for "radical transformation" which would bring some of them into conflict with the state (p. 28). Marotti's attention to detail and to the emotional life of his subjects is truly engrossing in the best traditions of microhistory. Indeed, this is a big book (over 300 pages of text alone) which should be savored rather than skimmed. But it is far

Journal

The Journal of Japanese StudiesSociety for Japanese Studies

Published: Jul 19, 2014

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