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Ici Berlin Press

Worlding Love, Gender, and Care

Worlding Love, Gender, and Care

Franziska Koch
Worlding Love, Gender, and Care
Shigeko Kubota’s Sexual Healing
Worlding Public Cultures

Berlin: ICI Berlin Press, 2023
ISBN 978-3-96558-060-2 | Paperback | 10 EUR | vii, 63 pp. | 17.8 cm x 12.7 cm
ISBN 978-3-96558-061-9 | PDF | Open Access | 3.7 MB
ISBN 978-3-96558-062-6 | EPUB | Open Access | 4.1 MB

Shigeko Kubota’s pioneering video Sexual Healing (1998) presents an ambivalent take on her disabled husband Nam June Paik in physical therapy. Accompanied by Marvin Gaye’s titular pop song, it considers love, sex, and care in old age within the much-debated field of Fluxus collaborations, and its ideal of working together as equals when fusing life and art. Worlding Love, Gender, and Care delves into the four decades of Kubota and Paik’s time together, reflects on feminist worlding, and investigates the vital contribution of female Fluxus artists to art history.

Franziska Koch is an art historian and Lecturer of Transcultural Studies at Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf. Her habilitation project about Nam June Paik and transcultural collaboration in Fluxus is supported by a grant from the Baden-Württemberg Foundation. She co-edited Negotiating Difference: Contemporary Chinese Art in the Global Context (2012) and is the author of Die ‘chinesische Avantgarde’ und das Dispositiv der Ausstellung (2016). More recently, she edited How We Work Together: Ethics, Histories, and Epistemologies of Artistic Collaboration, a themed issue of the Journal of Transcultural Studies (2020/21). She co-leads the Heidelberg team of the Trans-Atlantic Research Project ‘Worlding Public Cultures: the Arts and Social Innovation’ (2019–2023; BMBF/DLR).
Franziska Koch decisively hones in on Shigeko Kubota’s late work, Sexual Healing, using the lens of gender and care to unravel its irony and ambivalence. Koch reveals Kubota’s resilience and analytic ability, as well as her unwavering love toward Paik during times of adversity. Without shying away from the most sensitive areas surrounding Kubota’s relationship with Paik, Koch dissects complex entanglements with clarity, making a valuable contribution to the ongoing study of this enigmatic artist. — Midori Yoshimoto, Ph.D. is Professor of Art History/Gallery Director of New Jersey City University, and the guest-curator of Out of Bounds: Japanese Women Artists in Fluxus at the Japan Society in New York, 2023–24.
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