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Tetsumi Kudo, Olympic Winners Platform (Pollution Olympics--Pollution Game--L'art pressentiment) (1970-1972)


Walker Art Center



Institution Walker Art Center
After a tumultuous early career in postwar Japan, Tetsumi Kudo moved to Paris in 1962, where he participated in a number of Happenings, multidisciplinary events in which he performed absurd rituals for his audience. However, Kudo was primarily known as a highly individualistic sculptor whose work seemed to belong to a post-nuclear ecology of day-glo colors, desiccated body parts, and (somewhat hopeful) metamorphosis.

Olympic Winners Platform was first exhibited at an art festival accompanying the 1972 Munich Olympics. In addition to the universally known Olympic logo, the other graphic symbol represents the brand specific to the Munich edition of the games. Many of the props were repurposed from the film Mire (1970), for which Kudo served as art director. Treating the alienation of modern man, the film was based on a work by absurdist playwright Eugene Ionesco, who ended up clashing with Kudo on the set. The face and body parts seen here represent Ionesco himself: the decomposing fragments of the anti-humanist European intellectual ironically adorn a platform associated with human tenacity and a "community" of nations.

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Source: Walker Art Center. Extended label for Tetsumi Kudo, Olympic Winners Platform (Pollution Olympics--Pollution Game--L'art pressentiment), from the exhibition Event Horizon, November 21, 2009 to August 26, 2012.
Rights: Copyright 2009 Walker Art Center
Added to Site: November 25, 2009