Published by Bat Editions, Paris, 2014, 796 pages (colour & b/w ill.), 25.6 × 36.3 cm, English / French / JapanesePrice: €50
The reprint of two out-of-print artist’s books self-published in the 80’s by the Japanese artists collective The Play, with a previously unreleased documentation.
Staging most of their actions, “without particular reason,” in “natural outdoor spaces,” and admitting they “only like[d] the infinite time and space of open air,” The Play is a fluctuating art collective gathering individuals with various personalities and skills, formed in 1967 in the Japanese Kansai region. Still active today the group has constantly devised its own methods for collective actions and the ways for transmitting them, its members coming together to create the possibility of an event without any concern for its result. Its persistence and longevity have set The Play apart from other groups in Japanese art history, never completely integrated, yet never completely at the margins. Refusing to distinguish art from life, The Play underlines an attitude and an outlook focused on playing, sincerity and humour, notions that remain crucial today.