Adrian Favell - Professor of Sociology, Sciences Po, Paris
Before and After Superflat narrates the story of the Japanese contemporary art world since 1990. After 1995 and again after March 2011, art in Japan can be seen to reflect and refract the difficult issues faced by a formerly fast developing society now have to face sharp economic and political decline, demographic crisis, and social polarization. Considering the Echigo-Tsumari and Setouchi festivals, as well as local art in the city initiatives in Yokohama and North East Tokyo, we will look at how artists, squeezed out of the flattened time and restricted space of life and work in the global city, have generated new meaning for their work in both urban and rural settings. Adrian Favell is Professor of Sociology at Sciences Po, Paris, and was formerly Associate Professor and Professor of Sociology at UCLA. He is a specialist on international migration and mobilities, global cities, and multiculturalism. A 2006-7 Abe Fellow in Tokyo, he has since then also been involved in the Japanese contemporary art world as an observer, writer and occasional curator.