Loading
  • Grid
  • List

Collections One-Thousand-Yen Note Trial Impound Object: Mask

Collections One-Thousand-Yen Note Trial Impound Object: Mask

Image Rights
Close
Image
Courtesy Walker Art Center
Rights
Copyright retained by the artist

Copyright

All content including images, text documents, audio, video, and interactive media published on the Walker web site (walkerart.org) is for noncommercial, educational and/or personal use only. Any commercial use or republication is strictly prohibited. Copying, redistribution, or exploitation for personal or corporate gain is not permitted.

To obtain permission, or for information on slides and reproductions, please contact Loren Smith, Assistant Registrar at 612.375.7673 or rights.reproductions@walkerart.org.

Title
One-Thousand-Yen Note Trial Impound Object: Mask
Date
1963
Dimensions
overall 14 × 9.5 × 7.5 inches
Materials
imitation one-thousand-Yen sheets, plaster mask, string, wire, paper tags
Location
Not on view

Object Details

Type
Sculpture
Accession Number
2009.1
Physical Description
A plaster mask covered with imitation one-thousand-Yen notes, wrapped with a string netting. Impound tags are affixed to the string netting.
Credit Line
T. B. Walker Acquisition Fund, 2009

object label Akasegawa Genpei, One-Thousand-Yen Note Trial Impound Object: Mask (1963) and “Greater Japan Zero-Yen Notes” and Bottled Money from Exchange (1967) Walker Art Center, 2009

The objects presented in this vitrine serve as artifacts of the most notorious scandal in the history of Japanese postwar avant-garde art. Akasegawa Genpei, who founded a trio of performance artists known as Hi Red Center, addressed the fundamental questions of art’s authorship, value, and “place” in the realm of everyday society—issues that operated with special significance for these works. In an attempt to operate outside of the gallery system, he created fake banknotes in 1963, which he used as gallery invitations and as “packaging” for everyday objects, sparking a criminal investigation for currency fraud. A highly publicized trial ensued in 1966, which the artist and his defense team used to leverage courtroom dialogue about art’s status and value. Ironically, while Akasegawa is commonly positioned within a conceptual anti-art discourse, the trial resulted in art’s legitimation, though the artist himself was found guilty of fraud. As if in defiance of these results, Akasegawa went on to generate more currency, this time in the form of “Greater Japan Zero-Yen Notes”—his version of “no-value money.”

Walker Art Center. Extended label for Akasegawa Genpei, One-Thousand-Yen Note Trial Impound Object: Mask and “Greater Japan Zero-Yen Notes” and Bottled Money from Exchange, from the exhibition Event Horizon, November 21, 2009 to August 26, 2012.

Copyright 2009 Walker Art Center