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Yasuko Kurono, Take Off Your Skin

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Filed under: Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking

Tales of the unexpected
by Liza Power
September 8, 2009

The element of surprise plays a big role in this year’s Fringe Festival. Liza Power reports… Melbourne Fringe Festival runs September 23 to October 11.

Yasuko Kurono, Take Off Your SkinOn the first Friday of October, the streets and laneways of Melbourne will be overrun by 100 bespectacled women in identical blue dresses, boots and black wigs. Arranged into ”pods” of 10, they will roam, dance, wildly gesticulate, pause and congregate. Each action adheres to a set of rules prescribed by Japanese artist Yasuko Kurono. Called TOYS (an acronym for Take Off Your Skin), the event, part of this year’s Melbourne Fringe Festival, was first staged in Japan in 1999.

Conceived as a meditation on the vapid nature of fashion and the perils of group psychology, it has since been re-enacted in Scotland, Hong Kong, Paris, Beijing, and the US. Images from each event – identical ”girls” riding escalators, skipping across zebra crossings, sprawled theatrically beside footpaths, dancing in shopping malls – appear on Kurono’s blog, soon to be joined by photographs of its Melbourne incarnation. (more…)