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Pastoral: To Die in the Country (50th Anniversary)
Institute of Contemporary Arts
Canna lilies minced to shreds in the meat grinder dripping red my birthday

This event will celebrate the semicentennial of Shūji Terayama’s film Pastoral: To Die in the Country (Den-en ni shisu, 1974). Pastoral is a playfully painful, shrewdly surreal investigation into the mutability of memory & identity. At the foot of Mt. Fear, in a fever dream idyll of the countryside, a boy longs to escape a present that never was.
Shūji Terayama (1935-1983) is considered an icon of the post-war avant-garde movement in Japan. Before establishing himself as a filmmaker and the leader of angura theatre troupe Tenjō Sajiki, Terayama broke into public consciousness as a poet. Pastoral shares its title and key themes with Terayama’s final tanka collection, Den-en ni shisu (1965). Rather than an ‘adaptation’, the film is an experiment in melding poetry with film to create a new way of expression.
A screening of the film will be preceded by a polyphonic recital of Terayama’s poetry, co-directed by Kaisa Saarinen and Alan Fielden & in collaboration with performance artist Noe Iwai. The dialogue of poetry and cinema in Pastoral will be expanded into a trilogue of forms through this hybrid performance.

This event is co-produced by Kaisa Saarinen & Bart Seng Wen Long.
Kaisa Saarinen is a writer & translator working on the first complete English translation of tanka published by Shūji Terayama. She has also published one collection of her own poetry, fiction & photographs (Voideuse, Feral Dove 2022) and one novel (Weather Underwater, Bellows Press 2023). Her second book of poetry & short fiction, Maitonaut, is forthcoming in August 2024 from New_sinews.
Alan Fielden is a British-Korean writer, performance maker, and poet. Winner of the Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust Award for Marathon, with JAMS, co-produced by the Barbican. His next production, Container, premieres in London, Spring 2025. His writing has been published by Prototype, If A Leaf Falls, Monitor Books, Minor Literatures, Broken Sleep Press. Associate lecturer at RCSSD and UAL Wimbledon. He co-runs Feature at Cafe Oto.

Noe Iwai is a performance artist and researcher. Their practice explores themes of otherness, Yokai (monsters) and queerness through approaches including performance art, painting, costume and mask making. Their works rebel against racism, categorization and prejudice; in particular, the romanticisation or fetishisation of Japanese female figures. The sly and mysterious fox, known as a ‘shape-shifter’ in Japanese mythology, inspires their practice and provides a totemic methodology for exploring socio-political and ecological issues. A graduate of the RCA Contemporary Art Practice and MRes Fine-Arts & Humanities, Noe has performed in places including the South London Gallery, San Mei Gallery (online), and YAU Studio in Tokyo.

Lila Matsumoto is a poet living in Nottingham. Recent work include Two Twin Pipes Sprout Water (Prototype), Foggy Eyes (Earthbound Press), Light Hazzles (Essence Press) and Many Glorious Petals (Feeding Tube Records). Just out is a poem postcard from Oo press. She co-runs the music and performance series Rammel Club and in 2021 co-curated Pommel, a programme of videos by artists working between textual, visual, and sonic media. She plays in the band Food People.
Yuna Goda is a writer and designer researching about language and identity. She is currently writing about people’s “idiolects”; which is like a dialect in personal scale. She explores the socio-linguistic reasons that form an idiolect, addressing the specific sonic characteristics, tongue movements, and vocabulary. She is a recent graduate from Goldsmiths, BA Design and current student at RCA, MA Writing. Her audio essay “Ramen, Okame, ぴよぴよ” is to be published through Art On the Underground in June 2024.

Bart Seng Wen Long is a Singaporean artist and curator. His practice involves moving images, photography and performance, and explores the political economy of desire through processes of fetishisation.

06:30 pm
Thu, 27 Jun 2024
Cinema 1

All films are ad-free and 18+ unless otherwise stated, and start with a 10 min. curated selection of trailers.

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