Japan Syndrome -Berlin version
From Brazil to Tohoku to Berlin.
How Europe Sees Fukushima Today.
This year marks Takamine’s third appearance at Kyoto Experiment since 2011. Previously, he developed the ‘Japan Syndrome’ series in Brazil where he had residency through an exchange program with Panorama Festival. By changing the medium from video installation to performance, he has explored a way to reveal the subtle complexity and atmosphere of post-quake Japanese society. For the film version of the series, Takamine interviews people in stores and on the street about the aftermath of the nuclear accident, then films reenactments of the conversations in the studio with actors. The new Berlin version is the sequel to films produced in Kyoto, Mito and Yamaguchi. It evolves into something much more interactive, continuing to expose the dilemma facing Japan today. Takamine will develop the series in Berlin during his one-year residency. His own experience and surroundings have always been directly reflected in his work, thus his is always a work in progress. Looking at Japan from a distance, this work questions the idea of “who we are today”.
‘Japan Syndrome’ is a video work in which actors interview people in stores and institutions in town and then reenact their conversations. The Kansai version was produced in September, 2011 for Kyoto Experiment 2011, the Yamaguchi version (at Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media) in June, 2012, and the Mito version (at Contemporary Art Center, Art Tower Mito) in August, 2012. Casually questioning interviewees about the aftermath of the nuclear accident in grocery stores, restaurants, fish stores and aquariums in each town, it then films reenactments of the conversations in a studio with actors. With the official line regarding radioactivity having been discredited, individual stands and ideas have became more diverse. We gradually sense this and become hesitate to talk about nuclear issues and radioactivity in our day-to-day conversations. Instead of filming the interview itself, by reenacting it in a skit, the work illustrates and emphasizes people’s invisible confusion
and anxiety covering today’s society.
North Gallery, Kyoto Art Center
Front Plaza of Kyoto City Hall
Takamine works in various media such as performance, video, installation and more. Known for his social commentary on US imperialism, sexual issues of the disabled, foreigners residing in Japan and migrant workers, he reveals the conflict and dissension in society: nationality, gender and language etc, through his own body. Without being vociferous, his art uncovers the power and oppression that lies at the bottom of discrimination and prejudice. Although in his recent work, including stage direction, his own body is not visually present, the presence a human spirit that resists uniformity, and a fanatic relationship of trust are always perceptible in Takamine’s work, no matter who he collaborates with.
|Executive producer||Tadasu Takamine|
|Production||Kyoto Experiment (Kansai version, Berlin version), YCAM Yamaguchi Center of Arts and Media (Yamaguchi version), Contemporary Art Center, Art Tower Mito (Mito version), In cooperation with HAU Hebbel am Ufer|
|Technical coordinator||Masaya Natsume|
|Technical support||Junji Nakaue|
|Production coordinator||Yukako Ogura|
|Presented by||Kyoto Experiment|