MASAHISA FUKASE - KILL THE PIG
MASAHISA FUKASE - KILL THE PIG
MASAHISA FUKASE - KILL THE PIG
MASAHISA FUKASE - KILL THE PIG

MASAHISA FUKASE - KILL THE PIG

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MASAHISA FUKASE
KILL THE PIG

Published by IBASHO & the (M)éditions
Book size 245 x 325 mm
Pages 84
Hardcover in slip case
ISBN-13: 979-10-95424-27-7
Limited edition of 1000 numbered copies
Text by Tomo Kosuga (founder and director of Masahisa Fukase Archives) in Japanese and English (translation by Lucy North)

In 1961 Masahisa Fukase’s first solo exhibition Kill the Pig was held in Tokyo. The exhibition consisted of two series of photographs: one titled ‘Kill the Pig’ and another series titled ‘Naked’.

The series ‘Kill the Pig’ featured photographs set in a slaughterhouse in Shibaura, Tokyo. Huge numbers of ravens also congregated there, drawn by the odour of raw meat, as the air resounded eerily with their cries. The series featured photographs in black and white and in colour. The colour shots were mostly reserved for the scenes showing blood and death.

The other series exhibited was ‘Naked’, showing Fukase himself and his partner at the time, Yukiyo Kawakami, in various poses.
There was one photograph in the exhibition that seemed very different from the rest, which was of a dead baby. This work was high-contrast and composed of two prints, one a positive, the other a negatieve, two black and white images in reverse, displayed adjacently. This baby was Fukase and Yukiyo’s first child, which had been still-born. In the exhibition, this work was prominently displayed, in a manner that all the other works arose from them.

It seems that Fukase attempted to express something about the cruelty of the two poles of life: as a positive and a negative. In other words, the idea that death is an essential part of life, and life of death.
This book comprises photographs that featured in that exhibition, now assembled as a single volume. With this book and Tomo Kosuga’s essay, light is cast on the works in the exhibition, which Kosuga considers to represent Fukase’s starting point in his photographic practice, and which for many decades languished in the shadows. 
(Text based on Kosuga’s essay)

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En 1961, la première exposition solo de Masahisa Fukase, Kill the Pig, est organisée à Tokyo. L'exposition présente deux séries de photographies : l’une, intitulée Kill the Pig et l’autre, intitulée Naked.

La série Kill the Pig révèle des photographies prises dans un abattoir à Shibaura, à Tokyo. La série comporte des photographies en noir et blanc et des photographies en couleur. L'autre série exposée, Naked, montre des images de Fukase lui-même et de sa compagne de l'époque, Yukiyo Kawakami.

L’une des photographies de l'exposition se démarque néanmoins des autres. Ce bébé mort est une œuvre très contrastée qui se compose de deux tirages, l'un positif, l'autre négatif, deux images noir et blanc inversées, présentées face à face. Ce bébé mort-né est le premier enfant de Fukase et Yukiyo. Dans l'exposition, cette œuvre est clairement mise en évidence, comme un point de référence pour toutes les autres images.

Il semble que Fukase tente à travers cette image de souligner, en positif et en négatif, la cruauté et l’interconnexion entre la vie et la mort.

Ce livre rassemble en un seul volume les photographies qui figuraient dans cette exposition. Comme il l’explique dans son essai, Tomo Kosuga considère ces images, restées dans l’ombre pendant de nombreuses années, comme le point de départ de la pratique photographique de Fukase.