Art Theory B (Body × Art)

We will measure artistic creation (including media creation) from the three horizons of history, the body, and philosophy. In other words, using the methods of art historical analysis, body theory analysis, and philosophical investigation, we will seek to prove the possibility (or lack thereof) of answering the fundamental question of why creative expression exists in the first place. From the standpoint of art history, we will study the historical limitations and necessities that circumscribed past creative activity, and we will consider the possibility (or impossibility) of freeing ourselves from those restrictions. From the perspective of body theory, we will investigate various ways of representing the body under the premise that the living body itself is a form of creative expression. Through our philosophical inquiries, we will acquire techniques that will help us consider creative expression in a truly intellectual way. Drawing on the research and creations of people from many different periods of history, we will develop our analytical tool set by looking at actual examples.


Masahiro Kobayashi , Tomoko Tagawa

Course Format

Intensive course (classroom lecture)

Course Plan/Overview

  • Art history subject matter: Vermeer, Giacometti, Magritte, Duchamp, Cy Twombly, etc.
  • Body theory subject matter: Ishinha, Dumb Type, Gekidan Taihen, Hijikata Tatsumi, ROSAS, etc.
  • Philosophical subject matter: Kant, Adorno, Derrida, Stiegler, Nihsida Kitaro, etc.
  • Contemporary subject matter: body modification, cosplay, J-POP, SNS, AKB48, etc.
  • Main themes: appearance and culture, Japan and the other, language and the other, body and symbol, language and thought, history and time, being and nothingness, God and man, body and creation, body and space, wall and metaphor, structure and function, religion and medicine, life and creation, etc.

Textbooks /
Reference Materials

These will be introduced in class as necessary.

Information from IAMAS