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Video Installation: A Body in Fukushima | Eiko + Koma
Video Installation: A Body in Fukushima
Photo by William Johnston

Video Installation: A Body in Fukushima (2018)

Installation A Body in Fukushima is comprised of two art works that attest the sense of place(s) and time: a projection of a durational video Eiko Otake crafted from hundreds of photographs, taken by William Johnston, of herself in the surreal, irradiated landscapes of post-nuclear meltdown Fukushima, Japan and a tattered red cloth that has accompanied Eiko in all of her travels to Fukushima and most of her public performances in the US.

Eiko traveled five times to evacuated, desolate Fukushima 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) who documented her body in places of nuclear contamination.

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.

After their fourth trip to Fukushima in 2017, Eiko edited the seven and a half hour video from all of their visits to Fukushima. On three Sundays in November 2017, Eiko performed A Body in Places: Met's Edition all day at each of the three Metropolitan Museums; the Cloisters, the Breuer, and the Fifth Avenue Building; while projecting these video.

Eiko then re-edited the video for a stand-alone video installation which does not perceive Eiko's live performance body. The result is a four hour video installation that can be projected as a whole or screened  by four large size monitors each showing one of the four parts.

William Johnston's Bio
Eiko Otake's Bio

Artists' video interview

Performing the History of A Body in Places:Conversation between the collaborators

Press photos A Body in Fukushima and A Body in Places