Tari Ito & Swing MASA

by RubberTit

タグ:tari ito ( 2 ) タグの人気記事

2007/4/13 LGBT Center in New York


LGBT Center
by RubberTit | 2007-04-16 01:11 | Top

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