Art vs Life in Tokyo

With PA Rajinth’s Kaala, staring Thalaivaa Rajinikanth due to open on the 7th June 2018, and with all the controversy around Rajinikanth’s encounter and intervention in Thoothukudi recently, I feel it is timely that I release this video of my own little intervention on the streets of Tokyo as a part of Cowboys and Indians: Tokyo Edition on May 11th 2018. Rajinikanth’s outburst brings into focus the liminality of art and life, and indeed the ultimate severality of these categories. Rajinikanth the politician came out quite harshly against the culture of protest and resistance in Tamil Nadu. While his character in Kaala is a rabble rousing revolutionary, real life Rajinikanth has come off looking rather reactionary. This self-inflected break between person and persona threatens to eviscerate not only the credibility of Rajinikanth’s politics but also that of his highly developed artistic identity. Still, I will be there at the Hollywood 3 Cinema in Surrey for the opening night in the Fraser Valley, British Columbia, Canada!

カウボーイズとインディアンズ: 東京版

tokyotower
カウボーイズとインディアンズ: 東京版
コートヤード・ヒロ: 2018年5月11日午後7
〒106-0031 東京都港区西麻布 4-21-2
Courtyard Hiroo: 7pm 11th May 2018
4-21-2 Nishiazabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 106-0031 JAPAN
Tel. +81-3-6427-1185     info@cy-hiroo.jp

The Koboi Project is series of a photo-conceptual performances, involving photographic images, traditional icons, story telling, collaboration and conviviality. For Cowboys and Indians: Tokyo Edition at Courtyard Hiroo, Niranjan Rajah will present an 18ft banner of Tamil movie SUPERSTAR Rajinikanth and an antique Momotaro doll made by the Kyugetsu Company. He will make an offering to the SUPERSTAR, to Momotaro-san and then, to one member of the audience. The visionary film critic and promoter Fumio Furuya (a.k.a. Jun Edoki), who is responsible for introducing Rajinikanth to Japan, has accepted an invitation to attend as an honoured guest. A scaled down version of the performance will be taken around the city for a series of impromptu interventions between the 7th and the 10th of May 2018, starting in Nishi-Kasai, Tokyo’s Little India. Niranjan will be accompanied by: Hiroyoshi Takeda – Autokaran, Chef; Tara Rajah – Cello; Jane Frankish – Poems on the Megaphone; Mikan Bindu (leader and choreographer) Hiroyoshi Takeda, Shinji Kashima, Hiroyo Yamaguchi, Saki Ito, Emiko Sawada, Yumiko Honda, Shinya Asanuma – SANDOSHAM Indian Movie Dance; Durga Rajah – Photography. For more information please visit: https://koboibalikkampung.wixsite.com/momo

Poems on the Megaphone

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As part of the Mango of Truth Performances Jane Frankish read her Poems on the Megaphone.

Passing

09FridayJun 2017

You are the first nations, the first people.

As I was coming in you were going out

you held the door for me and said, ‘good timing.’

I asserted, ‘Yes, indeed, good timing thank you.’

Ascending the stair, I felt my settler state.

My emphases extending everywhere

your body, your speech, your land.​

 

For more please visit Jane and the Library Monkeys

 

Indians on the Playa

playa

So we did it! My fellows at The Camp With No Name, my family and I – we realized the image I had visualized for Cowboys and Indians at Burning Man. We did one performance on the evening of the 31st August at camp where I presented the Krishna icon, the Thalaivar banner, and the Indian Cowboy image and 40 perfectly ripe mangoes. I told Krishna stories of love and truth to the gathering. Tara played an improvisation on the melody of Joe Ely’s Indian Cowboy on the Cello and Jane read her Poems on the Megaphone. Durga took photographs for future editions of the Koboi Project. The next day on the 1st September, Jane, Tara, Durga, Lucas, Guy, Saren and I took Cowboys and Indians onto the playa. This time we distributed 80 mangoes and interacted with burners as they came by on the their vehicles, their bikes and on foot. We shared love and truth … and mangoes till the sun went down on the Playa.

The Mango of Truth

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The Mango of Truth Performance will be carried out twice during the Burning Man event, once at camp and once on the playa.  At the heart of this performance is the presentation of an antique terracotta icon for Lord Krishna and the gifting of mangos at the end of each performance. The performance will take place beneath the Pazham Neeyappa (You art the Fruit) banner of SUPERSTAR Rajinikanth. The Krishna icon will be shown to the audience along with a ripe mango. The Koboi will narrate the meaning of the mango within Hindu worldview, in terms of the Hindu concept of knowledge, and in terms of ideas of love and truth. The narrative will be centered on the exploits of Lord Krishna. These ideas and allegories will lead to a reflections on the ‘image’ (Superstars, cowboy, etc.) and on the nature ’truth’ (false news, post-truth, etc.) in our contemporary reality. Jane Frankish will read poems from her Jane And The Library Monkeys Blog on a Megaphone. Tara Rajah will play short improvisations of Joe Ely’s Indian Cowboy on the cello and Durga Rajah will photograph the performances for future Koboi Project editions.

Cowboys and Indians

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The Koboi and family are off to Burning Man festival 2017 in Black Rock City, Nevada. This year’s theme for projects at Burning Man is Radical Ritual, and I propose to present a special edition of Cowboys and Indians. In keeping with the theme, this work will exemplify how, even traditional rituals are constantly being revivified and radicalized. This presentation consists of two images – Pazham Neeyappa and Indian Cowboy, as well as the Mango of Truth performance which will be carried out at the  [The Camp with No Name] on the Black Rock City Playa.