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Directed by Eiko Otake

2018 80 mins.

Eiko Otake presents a screening of a specially edited version of A Body in Fukushima, a film created by the artist to be shown either with or without a photo exhibition and/or Eiko’s live performance. The film was crafted from thousands of photographs, taken by William Johnston, of Eiko grappling with the irradiated landscapes of post-nuclear meltdown Fukushima, Japan. Eiko will be present at the screening and will introduce and lead a conversation after the viewing.

Eiko traveled five times to evacuated, desolate region since the triple disaster—earthquake, tsunami, nuclear meltdown—of 2011. From her second trip forward, she was accompanied by photographer Johnston (also a professor of Japanese history and public health). The images are accompanied by an original soundtrack and text.

Throughout Eiko is in constant dialogue with a post-apocalyptic environment—seas rage, 1-ton bags of contaminated soil stand like soldiers unmoved, irradiated ancient burial grounds provide shelter but contain danger—as she navigates a changing terrain over three years. The series of costumes add a distinctive color palate to the environment. A large swath of red cloth, sewn from the lining of her grandmother’s kimono, accompanies her on her trek and becomes tattered. Superficial attempts at decontamination and normalization are made by workers lacking appropriate protective gear.

Eiko Otake and William Johnston have co-taught courses on nuclear and environmental issues at Wesleyan University focused on ideas of “the body,” both human and environmental, as a foundation for inquiry. A Body in Fukushima is a testament to their empathy for the environment and a comment on the dangers of human heedlessness in the natural world. The full version of A Body in Fukushima is on view as a part of A Body in Places at the Center for Art & Culture at PNCA.

Eiko Otake and William Johnston have co-taught courses on nuclear and environmental issues at Wesleyan University focused on ideas of ‘the body,’ both human and environmental, as a foundation for inquiry. A Body in Fukushima is a testament to their empathy for the environment and remorse on the dangers of human heedlessness in the natural world.

The full version of A Body in Fukushima is on view as a part of A Body in Places at the Center for Art & Culture at PNCA from September 5 through October 24.

A Body in Fukushima is screening as part of the Time-Based Art Festival.

Genres: video art

Appears in: Special Screenings