Eiko Ishioka on Aesthetic Performativity, Creativity, and Mimesis

Toyoko Sato

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearchpeer-review


This paper examines the concepts of mimesis and creativity in connection to aesthetic performativity. This will be done by focusing on the artwork legacy of Eiko Ishioka. Although Ishioka received contiguous admiration and praise as her career progressed in New York, her artwork has not yet been examined in regard to its quintessential nature, which speaks for mimesis and creativity in the act of aesthetic performativity. To exemplify this, we have the title of Ishioka’s legendary 1983 anthology of her works published simultaneously in English and in Japanese. In contrast to the English title Eiko by Eiko which shows her directorial spirit in full, the Japanese title reads Ishioka Eiko, Fūshi Kaden. Fūshi Kaden is the title of a book of the 14th century, which concerns the attainment of the flowering of art in Noh play and is a philosophical treatise on mimesis. What does it signify to appropriate this title for Ishioka’s Japanese book title? Methodologically, semiotic moments of discourse are examined. The texts for the analyses include memoirs by Eiko Ishioka and the Noh text itself. The respective discourses are comparatively assessed in light of theories of performativity, creativity and mimesis developed by both Judith Butler and scholars from the Frankfurt School.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2017
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event13th IASS-AIS World Congress of Semiotics IASS: CROSS-INTER-MULTI-TRANS - Kaunas University of Technology, Kaunas, Lithuania
Duration: 26 Jun 201730 Jun 2017
Conference number: 13


Conference13th IASS-AIS World Congress of Semiotics IASS
LocationKaunas University of Technology


  • Eiko Ishioka
  • Aesthetic performativity
  • Mimesis
  • Creativity

Cite this