Edition 2016

Méjan association

Kazuo Ohno by Eikoh Hosoe and William Klein

Pas de deux

The exhibition Pas de Deux brings together the photographs taken by Eikoh Hosoe and those taken by William Klein of Kazuo Ohno (1906-2010), the cofounder of the Japanese dance form Butoh. Pas de Deux also interrogates the performative aspect of the photographic act.

The masterly book The Butterfly Dream (2006) recounts the intense collaboration between Eikoh Hosoe and Kazuo Ohno from 1960 through 2005. Its title, a Romantic metaphor dear to the artist, could also refer to the parable of the Chinese philosopher Chuang Chou, in which the sage dreams that he is a butterfly and, upon waking, wonders whether he is not in fact a butterfly dreaming he is Chuang Chou. Beyond the idea of a photographer recording an ephemeral performance, this is an artwork in which Kazuo Ohno dances for the camera of Eikoh Hosoe, who, in return, stages and directs him through photography, in such a way that it becomes impossible to tell who is leading whom.

In 1961, William Klein went to Tokyo and created photographic work that would be published in 1964 under the title Tokyo. Fascinated by a changing city making its definitive turn towards modernity with the approach of the 1964 Olympics, Klein explored its neighbourhoods with the onsite help of Eikoh Hosoe and the members of the VIVO collective, which the latter had cofounded. William Klein also met Kazuo Ohno, his son Yoshito Ohno, and Tatsumi Hijikata, all three of them avant-garde artists who were at the source of Butoh. Under the guidance of Kazuo Ohno, they posed and danced for William Klein’s camera in the streets and metro stations of the Shimbashi neighbourhood. Only two photographs from this collaboration were published in Tokyo. Pas de Deux displays photographs, never before published, that capture this dance for four and reveal the photographer participating in the performance.

Exposition présentée par l’association du Méjan en collaboration avec les galeries Akio Nagasawa et Jean-Kenta Gauthier pour Eikoh Hosoe et avec la participation de William Klein.

  • Institutional partners

    • République Française
    • Région Provence Alpes Côté d'Azur
    • Département des Bouches du Rhône
    • Arles
    • Le Centre des monuments nationaux est heureux de soutenir les Rencontres de la Photographie d’Arles en accueillant des expositions dans l’abbaye de Montmajour
  • Main partners

    • Fondation LUMA
    • BMW
    • SNCF
    • Kering
  • Media partners

    • Arte
    • Lci
    • Konbini
    • Le Point
    • Madame Figaro
    • France Culture