Tari Ito & Swing MASA

by RubberTit

2007/4/13 LGBT Center in New York


LGBT Center
# by RubberTit | 2007-04-16 01:11 | Top
Rubber Tit a hands-on experience / Chicago Monroon
By Supriya Sinhababu
Friday, April 6th, 2007
Like a punctured hot air balloon, it began its performance lying shrivele and orange at the bottom of a modified wooden crate with edges but n sides. With the aid of a portable air blower and the sounds of a jaz saxophone for inspiration, the thing slowly took shape, spiting the efforts o the small Japanese woman who energetically bound the crate at arbitrar intervals with rainbow-colored cord
When the thing grew big enough to chafe at the sides of the crate, the woman abandoned her web-weaving and wrenched the strange object bodily from its confines. Now a little taller than the woman herself, the thing at the end of its development finally resembled a “rubber tit,” both an actor and a prop in its, uh, titular performance.
Rubber Tit’s two non-synthetic performers assumed the shapes of Japanese lesbians: performing artist-cum-performance artist Tari Ito, and jazz saxophonist Masa, a New York resident for the past 20 years. Sponsored by the Japan Committee of the Center for East Asian Studies and the Center for Gender Studies, among others, Rubber Tit dealt abstractly with Japan’s ingrained homophobia and the difficulties of leading a lesbian lifestyle in that nation.
Some of the five dozen or so attending students, who sat mainly on the floor of the Cloister Club at Ida Noyes Hall on Tuesday night, may have come to Rubber Tit out of interest in such gender issues. Others may have expected only to experience something from the very broad category of “weird and from Japan.” The performance delivered on both counts, but also succeeded from a purely entertainment-seeking standpoint. Rubber Tit dragged lofty intellectual concepts from their roosting places down to the Cloister Club floor, where they could actually engage an audience.
Audience participation had a lot to do with Rubber Tit’s success. While the well meaning tactic has added a cheesy, elementary-school feel to many an otherwise interesting performance, Rubber Tit avoided corniness almost entirely. While the tit inflated, Ito wordlessly wrapped her rainbow cord around the feet of a few lucky audience members, this writer included. After extracting the fully-inflated tit from its prison, she spent a few minutes jumping and rolling around in the tit like a child in an enormous beanbag chair; then, to everyone’s surprise, she heaved the tit onto the cross-legged audience members. A sort of volleyball game quickly developed between Ito and the crowd, and before long the tit had made its way around the room. Ten-cent parallels to confronting the sexuality of oneself and others could be drawn from the literally in-your-face tit, but only in retrospect. The show itself was engaging enough that during the performance, the audience did not have to scrape for meaning to justify sitting through boring moments.
That said, some elements of the performance certainly packed more punch than others. The show began with the lights completely dimmed, and with Ito lying in the crate on top of the deflated tit. A camera inside the crate shed light on Ito’s writhing movements by way of a large projection screen at the front of the room. At one point the camera projection overlapped with the silhouette of a Japanese legislator, whom running text revealed as the first Japanese lesbian to come out during office. While certainly relevant to Rubber Tit’s themes, this woman’s story seemed adventitious because of its length and textual medium.
The music of Masa’s jazz saxophone, on the other hand, added immeasurably to the performance. At moments when Ito failed to completely arrest the audience’s attention—mainly during her brief pauses in interacting with the tit—Masa’s excellent playing picked up the slack. Significantly, Masa’s performance didn’t have the feel of being too artsy for the appreciation of novice jazz listeners. As with the tit, Masa’s music may well have expressed heavier themes of sexism and homophobia. However, it was entirely possible, if not easier, for the audience to leave contemplation for a later date, and instead just sit back and enjoy the show.
Rubber Tit a hands-on experience By Supriya Sinhababu Friday, April 6th, 2007/Chicago Monroon
# by rubbertit | 2007-04-07 15:58 | Review
Impressions of the Performance "Rubber Tit" on 4/3/07 at University of Chicago / Popular Culture In/Out of Japan
Celebrating Protest
# by rubbertit | 2007-04-05 12:00 | Impression / Chicago

Illinois University


# by rubbertit | 2007-03-30 01:07 | llinois University

Chicago University

The University of Chicago
The Center for Gender Studies at the University of Chicago
The Japan at Chicago Lecture Series: Celebrating Protest


# by rubbertit | 2007-03-30 00:42 | Chicago University

Suchedule of Performance

Tuesday, April 3rd 2007
Cloister Club, Ida Noyes Hall
University of Chicago
1212 East 59th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637

Monday, April, 9th 2007
Heritage Room
ACES Library
1101 S. Goodwin
Urbana, IL 61801

Friday, April, 13th 2007
The Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Community Center

208 W.13th St. NYC 10011 (212-620-7310)
# by rubbertit | 2007-03-29 23:25 | Suchedule

Thoughts about my performance

Thoughts about my performance by Swing MASA

What it means to be “me” and the message of my jazz music, “Don’t Kill”:
My performance is for the recovery of “myself,” the me that is shrinking in this era of backlash
and the rise of conservatism.
Who am I?
When 9/11 happened, I was at my home in Harlem, in New York City. I saw the shocking
images on TV at my local grocery store. I watched television at my friend’s house every day in
search of the truth about the incident. The TV stations had stopped broadcasting all regular
programming and commercials, and showed only the incident. During those three days of
watching broadcasts about the incident, I grew frightened. I was afraid of the media’s
manipulative depictions of everyone in the world as being supportive of a war of revenge. And
then there was the me who was so afraid of the television’s propaganda that I couldn’t even
express my true feelings of opposition to the war. I stopped watching television after that.
Who am I?
I don’t know. But I can say this much for sure:
Whatever the age, whatever happens in front of my eyes, whatever, whenever,
I am the person who signed on to living the life of SwingMASA.
I am the only person who is with her from the beginning to the end of her life.
Who am I?
One morning, I found within me “Maa-chan,” a me inside myself, crying; my young child self.
I asked her why she was crying, and “Maa-chan” said “I am scared because I am always being
scolded by MASA.” ...
I felt love for this very young “Maa-chan” who was inside me. I was sorry for her. …
I wasn’t being kind and gentle to myself at all. I was only worried about producing results.
Now, I am afraid of this war for “justice.” I hate this war!!
Who am I?
Five years after 9/11, people have started to understand why it happened.
People around the world do not fear another 9/11-type incident itself, but they are truly scared of
this war for “justice” by the United States.
The Star-Spangled Banner and the Hi-no-maru (Japan’s Rising Sun Flag) are eating away at the
peace inside me.
Who am I?
Here are some decisions that I have made since I reached the age of 40:
That I don’t blame the me who has made mistakes.
That I forgive the me who has failed.
That I understand the me who is a hopelessly narcissistic coward, a little more.
That I accept everything about me.
That I love and have become the best friend of myself.
That I love, respect, and care for me.
That I love me even if my growth and happiness do not come true in the ways I wish.
That I will never give up on myself based on my viewpoint, even though people treat me badly,
And that I will be the me who I would like to spend the rest of my life with.
I will listen to the voice of my mind, I will walk with my own rhythm and tempo.
Just a little courage is enough. With a little courage, I will never forget to express myself,
in order for me to be myself.
My sexuality and me: liberation from the spell of sexuality:
I fall in love with people regardless of their gender.
The history of my own sexual experiences: I used to be heterosexual because it was the only way
I knew of, because of social norms. Then one day, I realized I had become a lesbian. I am not
interested in men, and I’m not good at dealing with hyper-masculine or hyper-feminine types.
Romantic love for me is about how I can construct a human relationship, rather than that
person’s sex and gender. While I was undergoing counseling, I became interested in this person
called “me.” I had a tough time figuring out how to live with this difficult self, but.nowadays,
I've gotten pretty friendly with her.
I have enjoyed being single for about fifteen years.
It's beginning to seem that my sexuality is about playing SwingMASA. Could it be? That's what
it feels like.
I want to go on fighting homophobia.
Performance—self-realization—the moment of supreme happiness
# by rubbertit | 2007-03-29 17:53 | Thoughts about my pe

flier 2


# by rubbertit | 2007-03-29 17:46 | flier2

flier 1


# by rubbertit | 2007-03-29 17:37 | flier1
Rubber Tit / パフォーマンスに向けて
- Meaning of Being Myself with "Don't Kill" -       by Swing MASA

「私」であることの意味と「Don't Kill(私のJazz Message)」


私は、Swing MASAの人生を引き受けた人であるということ。




そして、少しばかりの、Swing MASAの自己表現の勇気を、応援してやると

私と、セクシュアリティー; 性的呪縛からの自由
私のセクシャリティって、どうやら、Swing MASAを演奏することかな??そんな感じ。
# by rubbertit | 2007-02-19 00:28 | Performanceに向けてのメモ

Rebber Tit by Tari Ito

Rebber Tit by Tari Ito

 1996年の作品の中でカミングアウトした「自画像」、'98年の家族との関係をあつかった「Me Being Me」、2001年の「恐れはどこにある」、'04年の「虹色の人々」と名付けたそれらのパフォーマンス作品は、社会に存在するホモフォビアを言及したものだ。90年代に入ってフェミニストたちがセクシュアリティに関心を寄せた流れの中で、私のパフォーマンスは反響を得、かなりの回数の公演を行なうことが出来た。その経緯を通して、私は自分をアイデンティファイする道筋を探って来れたと思っている。
# by RubberTit | 2007-02-16 05:37 | Rubber Tit /Japanese

Swing MASA

Swing MASA Jazz Saxophone & Voice / Feminist / Pacifist

 高校時代、John .ColtraneのMy Favorite Thingsを聞いて大きなインパクトを受けたことがきっかけとなり、Jazzへと傾倒してゆく。またこの時期から、種々の社会矛盾に強い憤りを感じる自己を意識するようになる。
 様々なバンドでの活動を経た後、1987年、友人、支援者の出資金でJazz修行のためNew Yorkへと渡り、そこで様々なJazz体験をかさねる。
 1992年、Michigan Womyns’Music Festivalに出演。以来、数々のウーマンズ・ミュージック・フェスティバル、コンサート、Jazzクラブ等に出演する。またこの年から、  年1,2回のペースで帰国、日本においてDon`t Killというテーマでコンサートツアーを行っている。
 1996年、New School University Jazz & Contemporaryを卒業(BFA)。在学中、Reggie Workman, Bross Townsendらに師事する。
 1999年、演奏活動の実績が認められ、Jazz Saxophone Playerとして、グリーンカード(アメリカ合衆国永住権)を取得。
 2003年3月、企画、運営、出演、観客すべてを女性のみでおこなうInternational Womyns` Jazz Festivalをプロデュースし、大阪府ドーンセンターで開催。

 New York、Harlem在住。アメリカと日本を行ったり来たりしながら演奏活動を続け、現在に至る。

Dennis Charles(ds), Zane Massey(ts), Ricky Ford(ts), Arnie Lawrence(as),
Bross Townsend(p), Cecil Monroe(ds), Calvin Jones(b), Ms Miche(vo),
Suhir Blackeagle(vo), Ubaka Hill (perc) 秋吉敏子(p), 那須シズノ(dance), 坂口登(絵),

「Swing MASA Band」( July 16, 1998 in Sorcer Sound New York City, 1998年発表)


# by RubberTit | 2007-02-16 05:23 | Swing MASA/プロフィール



スト交流ツアーなどを手がけた。2003年からは多目的使用のPA/F SPACEを

E-Mail; tari@gol.com


# by RubberTit | 2007-02-16 05:15 | イトーターリ/プロフィール

Rubber Tit by Tari Ito

Rubber Tit By Tari Ito

My past works of performance art, which include “Self Portrait”, my coming-out piece (1996); “Me Being Me”, a work dealing with the relationship between myself and my family (1998); “Where is the Fear?” (2001); and “People in Rainbow Colors” (2004), all touch upon the existence of homophobia within society. These shows had a particularly strong impact given the fact that feminists had begun to deal with the matter of sexuality in the early 1990’s, and as such I was invited to give a considerable number of performances. Through this process, I was also able to embark upon the path of my own personal identification.

I am well aware of the fact that my ability to find the courage to live as a lesbian has been intertwined with the tireless work of feminists over the course of many years. The fact has not changed, however, that I still continue to confront hardships within the course of my everyday life. As a result, it is absolutely clear to me that lesbians have no choice but to continue the fight against the existence of sexism within the rigidity that characterizes Japanese society.

Since the incident of September 11, 2001, there has been a considerable backlash in Japan against feminism—as well as an additional recent trend of gender-bashing—that has caused sexual minorities in our country to come under a severe amount of pressure. The government has also begun steering toward a stance of protectionist nationalism, which has resulted in a trend toward returning to traditional Japanese ideals, as well as the rampant use of patriotic propaganda.

This situation has resulted in a series of official statements being made that are openly offensive toward human rights, and these utterances have also tended to bring up my own personal memories of the time when individuals’ self-determination was completely forbidden in our society. Recent conversations in Japan about the issue of succession to the emperor’s throne have additionally made it clear that the imperial household is completely oblivious to the existence of women’s human rights, and that the issue of human rights more generally has yet to be seriously addressed in Japan at all.

My performance includes a scene showing a conversation between Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara and a reporter discussing a homophobia-related murder that occurred six years ago. Unfortunately, there has also been another incident of a gay man recently being attacked in the very same park. When the youth who committed the more recent crime gave his testimony, he was apparently quoted as saying “I did it because I figured the case wouldn’t even be brought to the police if the victim was a gay person.”

My piece titled “Where is the Fear? (2006 Version)” brings up the challenging matter of how one may react in the midst of these political and social trends. In reality, it is impossible to get away from the feeling that no matter how loudly we lesbians protest against the difficult social conditions that confront us—or no matter how many times we try to explain this situation to heterosexuals—we just seem to be ignored. Given this reality, I have chosen to communicate this message in a positive and natural way through playing with giant rubber breasts, which is my ultimate sexual fantasy. By bringing forth a pair of breasts, those dangerously universal body parts, I intend to draw attention to that which we all have a personal connection with—as well as a political one.

Another image used in my performance is of Kanako Otsuji, an assemblywoman from Osaka who recently came out as a lesbian, who comments that discrimination in Japan is conducted and perpetuated through the avoidance of specific issues. This is a situation that I am not willing to tolerate, however—and nor am I willing to simply dismiss it on the basis of this being a part of Japanese culture.
# by RubberTit | 2007-02-16 03:37 | Rubber Tit

Swing MASA

Swing MASA Jazz Saxophone & Voice / Feminist/Pacifist

MASA is a saxophonist & vocalist actively performing in Japan and the U.S.
Born and raised on Osaka, she started playing saxophone at age 12 and taking private lessons at 15.
After studying performing art at Osaka University of Art, she came to New York City to study saxophone at New School University under the guidance of Reggie Workman.
After receiving BFA, she has performed at Birdland in New York City, Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival, Cherry Blossom Festival at (name), the St. Peter’s Church in New York City, and Harajuku Quest Hall in Tokyo, Suginami Civic Hall, Kawachinagano Civic Hall, Tondabayashi Civic Hall, Fukuyama Civic Hall, Moriguchi Civic Hall in Osaka, and Dawn Center Hall in Osaka.
She has collaborated with a number of prominent artists, including Dennis Charles, Zane Massey, Ricky Ford, Bross Townsend, Cecil Monrro, Kuni Mikami, Satoshi Inoue, Suhir Blackeagel, Miche Braden, Ubaka Hill, Tishiko Akiyoshi, Masaji Otsuka, Yutaka Sadoyama, Kan Mikami, painter Susumu Sakaguchi, and dancer Shizuno Nasu.
She has recorded two CDs, “Akeno Hoshi o Miagete/Looking up at the morning star” and “Swing MASA Band” and appears as a guest musician for the recordings of Masaji Otsuka, Yutaka Sadoyama , Ubaka Hill, and Suhir Blackeagel.
She lives in New York City and travels extensively throughout Japan and the U.S.

E-Mail; swingmasa@aol.com


# by RubberTit | 2007-02-16 03:20 | Swing MASA/profile
Tari Ito Performance Artist / Feminist 

Ito was born and raised in Tokyo. She spent four years performing in Holland beginning in 1982, and began integrating elements of feminism into her work around 1990. She founded the Women’s Art Network (WAN) in 1995, and between this year and 2002, she held an exhibition titled "Women Breaking Boundaries 21" and also organized a collaborative tour between Japanese and Korean artists. She began managing a multipurpose studio titled “PA/F Space” in 2003, and continues to spearhead projects aimed at the empowerment of sexual minorities. Her present works include “Where is the Fear? (2006 Version)” and “I Will Not Forget You: Homage to Kim Sundok. “

E-Mail; tari@gol.com


# by RubberTit | 2007-02-16 03:12 | Tari Ito/profile