Tate Modern announces Shuji Terayama. Who can say that we should not live like dogs

Tate Modern presents Shuji Terayama: ‘Who can say that we should not live like dogs?’, an exhibition on view 16–25 March 2012.

Shuji Terayama, “Butterfly,” 1974. © courtesy the Terayama Museum

Questions were an important methodology for Shūji Terayama (1935–1983), whose striking creative work exists in a liminal space between fact and imagination. Terayama’s career recalls an eerie tale of Japanese folklore in which a face shifts to become a different face. An acclaimed filmmaker, poet, radio and stage dramatist, essayist, photographer and horseracing tipster (with no less than eight volumes of commentary to his name) Terayama was, in the words of theatre critic Akihiko Senda, ‘the eternal avant-garde’.

In an era when Japan’s underground was reaching a fever pitch, Terayama was a crucial player in a complex network of creative expression, encompassing such countercultural legends as singer Akihiro Miwa, photographer Daido Moriyama and graphic artist Tadanori Yokoo. A tribute to this ‘many-headed’ artist, this survey centres both on his astonishing film and video work and his trailblazing shifts through varied media and performance. The series includes a symposium on Terayama’s transmedia work and a live cinema performance in the Turbine Hall. Terayama always made work that was interrelated, often producing visionary and unexpected outcomes in whatever his chosen form.

Complete programme details are available on www.tate.org.uk.

Curated by Thomas Dylan Eaton in association with Tate Modern.

With generous support from Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation, Japan Foundation, Sasakawa Foundation, Toshiba Foundation, and All Nippon Airways.

Tate Film is supported by Maja Hoffmann / LUMA Foundation

Programme 1: The Martial Theatre
Friday 16 March 2012, 19.00
Starr Auditorium

Programme 2: Mothers
Saturday 17 March 2012, 19.00
Starr Auditorium

Programme 3: Oriental Disturbances
Sunday 18 March 2012, 19.00
Starr Auditorium

Programme 4: Terayama Live
Sunday 18 March 2012, 21.00
Turbine Hall

Friday 23 March 2012, 21.00
East Room, Level 7


This event presents two of Terayama’s live action works—bridging cinema, performance, audience participation and an attack against the cinematic apparatus—with the participation of Terayama’s original collaborator, Henrikku Morisaki.

Symposium: ‘I Am a Terayama Shūji’
Friday 23 March 2012, 10.00 – 17.00
Starr Auditorium

This symposium brings together experts and collaborators to reflect on the diverse media blend created by the Japanese poet, photographer and film-maker, whose stated profession was always ‘Terayama Shūji’. Contributors include Nobuko Anan, Shigeru Matsui, Henriku Morisaki, Steven C. Ridgely, Julian Ross, Hiroyuki Sasame and Carol Fisher Sorgenfrei.

Programme 5: Tokyo Puck
Friday 23 March 2012, 19.00
Starr Auditorium

Programme 6: Letter Drama
Saturday 24 March 2012, 19.00
Starr Auditorium

Programme 7: A Laboratory of Play
Sunday 25 March 2012, 17.00
Starr Auditorium


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