“Marine Accident (Premeditated or not 5)” by Daido Moriyama, 1969, 4 photographs, gelatin silver prints on paper, various dimension, Tokyo Polytechnic University, Shadai Gallery. © Daido Moriyama

TATE: “Marine Accident (Premeditated or not 5)” by Daido Moriyama, 1969, 4 photographs, gelatin silver prints on paper, various dimension, Tokyo Polytechnic University, Shadai Gallery. © Daido Moriyama.

From October 10, 2012 to January 20, 2013, the TATE Modern museum in London held the William Klein + Daido Moriyama exhibition:

Explore modern urban life in New York and Tokyo through the photographs of William Klein and Daido Moriyama. This is the first exhibition to look at the relationship between the work of influential photographer and filmmaker Klein, and that of Moriyama, the most celebrated photographer to emerge from the Japanese Provoke movement of the 1960s. (read more)

The photo above is part of the Accident series, created in 1969 (first called Premeditated or Not). It was inspired by Andy Warhol’s silkscreened Disaster series (see example below). The series was first featured on the covers of the Japanese photographic magazine Asahi Camera for all its issues from January to December 1970.

The photo is reproduced in the catalog from the exhibition (pp. 106-107) from which also comes the following relevant excerpt, written by TATE curator Simon Baker:

As this affinity between several related bodies of work suggests, Moriyama’s ‘on the road’ works were produced in tandem with another major strand of his practice from this time: a multi-part series of photo-essay, originally given the overall English title Premeditated or Not, but better translated as Accident, which both predict and overreach Moriyama’s better-known contributions to Provoke. With this new project Moriyama wanted, he said, to focus on incidents and accidents as the starting point for his thoughts on human life, to ‘copy an image of a moment’. Given this starting point, the resulting images inevitably offer a dystopian perspective on everyday life, which is seen only through the lens of the ever-present potential from trauma. […]

The peculiar effect achieved in the central spread of [Accident 10] Sombre Sunday, which deliberately echoes the reprographic distortion of half-tone printing, points toward another of Moriyama’s key influence at this time: the silkscreened ‘disasters’ of Andy Warhol. Like Moriyama’s interest in the painting of D’Arcangelo, and in the idea of ‘copying the image of a moment’, Moriyama was deeply impressed by American pop art at this time, and sought in particular to adapt Warhol’s approach to a specifically Japanese context. This is evident not only in Moriyama’s subsequent turn to making his own screenprints (in the early 1970s), but also in his Accidents, and his work for the magazine Provoke. Warhol’s cultural position, it is worth noting, like Kerouac’s (and also that of William Klein, whose New York photobook was massively influencial), was ideal in its critic relation to Americana, both revelling in the specific Americanness of its subject, and equally aware of the iniquitous and tragic downsides of the so-called ‘American Dream’ […]

Arguably Moriyama’s most self-consciously Warholian works, or at least those that bear its clearest imprint, are two series produced in 1969, Accident 6: Smash-up; and his contribution to the third issue of the magazine Provoke. For Smash-up Moriyama eschewed the photography of any particular accident ‘as such’, lying in wait in Shinjuku or travelling to the site of a shipwreck (as in Accident 5), in favour of re-photographing traffic-safety campaign posters on the Tokyo subway: isolating details, blowing up and blurring the resulting photographs until they resembled Warhol’s degraded silkscreen disasters. (Daido Moriyama, ed. by Simon Baker, Tate Publishing, 2012, pp. 22-24; see TATE, Amazon)

On November 14, 2013, Warhol’s “Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster)” (1963) (part of his Death and Disaster series) was sold by Sotheby’s for 105,445,000 USD (Sothbey’s lot details; more information at Blouin ArtInfo).

“Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster)” (detail) by Andy Warhol, 1963. Image retrieved from Sotheby’s.
“Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster)” (detail) by Andy Warhol, 1963. Image retrieved from Sotheby’s.

• • •

To go along its William Klein + Daido Moriyama exhibition, the TATE produced a couple of videos (see at link). Two of them are about Daido Moriyama. The longest one (about 11 minutes) was also uploaded to Vimeo (see below):

Related: The blog of the International Center for Photography Library, in New York, recently published a lengthy post about its significant Daido Moriyama Photobook Collection. All the pieces are listed and a couple of videos shed some lights on some of the photobooks. Read it here: “A NYC Resource: The Impact of The Daido Moriyama Photobook Collection On ICP” (November 7, 2013).

Previously:

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