A Body in Fukushima with William Johnston

Eiko has been collaborating with historian and photographer William Johnston since 2014 in creating A Body in Fukushima, a series of photographs, by going to post nuclear disaster Fukushima,Japan. The collaboration was first conceived as a part of her solo project: A Body in Places and was shown in communities where she toured her solos. But soon it became clear to Eiko that the collaboration with Johnston is not about only bringing Fukushima into a dialogue but also a duet between a photographer and dancer/performer.

For that reason, Eiko will bring various form of A Boy in Fukushima as part of her Duet Project especially where their Fukushima work has not been seen. 

Eiko and Johnston met in 2005 and, prior to this artistic collaboration,  had co-taught  courses in Wesleyan University on the atomic bombings and mountaintop removal mining. Eiko visited Fukushima alone in 2011 soon after earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdowns hit the area.  She then invited Johnston to collaborate in their subsequent trips: 2014 winter and summer, 2016 summer and 2017 summer. In all, the photographs by Johnston capture Eiko’s movements and gestures as well as the evolving landscape over their four visits.  The exhibition includes video A Body in Fukushima Eiko has created using only Johnston's photographs.

By placing my body in these places, I thought of the generations of people who used to live there. Now desolate, only time and wind continue to move.  Eiko Otake

By witnessing events and places, we actually change them and ourselves in ways that may not always be apparent but are important. Through photographing Eiko in these places in Fukushima, we are witnessing not only her and the places themselves, but the people whose lives crossed with those places. William Johnston


Exhibition of A Body in Fukushima
The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia (Oct. 3, 2014 through April 5 2015).
Galleries of Contemporary Art of University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (Dec.4, 2014 - Feb. 14, 2015)
Three galleries in Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT (Feb. 5- May 25, 2015).
Reynolds Industries Theater (American Dance Festival, (June-July, 2015)
Durham Art Council Gallery, Durham, NC (June -July 2015)
Pioneer Works, Brooklyn, (Nov.13 -Dec. 20, 2015)
Centre Gabriela Mistral, Santiago, Chile (Jan. 3-27, 2016)
Flynn Center, Burlington, VT (Mar. 4-May 28, 2016)
Columbia University East Asian Studies Library (Mar. 11- June 30, 2016)
St Mark's Church Sanctuary (24 hour only event, Mar. 11-12)
Library, Raleigh, NC (June-July, 2016)
A Gallery, Martha's Vineyard (June-August, 2016)
The Cathedral of St. John the Divine (Octber. 6, 2016 - Mar. 12, 2017)
The Jacob's Pillow (July 1-31, 2017)
Pittsfield Library (July 1-31, 2017)
South Gallery of Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT(January 25 through Feb 15, 2018)

Danspace Project Platform 2016, which focused on Eiko's A Body in Places, included 24 hour  Fukushima photo exhibition with video of A Body in Fukushima in the sanctuary of St Mark's Church in East Village New York. Scholars and artists gathered for three roundtable discussions in prior to the opening of the exhibition. Eiko designed the shifting light and 24 artists performed at every hour at the hour joining  in the commemoration of the fifth year anniversary of the Fukushima disaster. On March 11, 2017, the exhibition at the Cathedral of St Jon the Divine closed with another memorial, a four hour event, Remembering Fukushima that included  performances and installations by various artists. 

In addition,the video of A Body in Fukushima was shown in Brussel, Belgium,  Hong Kong, Australia, Frankfurt, Germany, Philadelphia Fukushima, Japan, Martha's Vineyard, Durham, NC, and the Cathedral of St.Jon the Divine.

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.

In February, 2018, Johnston and Eiko created another gallery show titled A Body in Fukushima: Recent works for the South Gallery of the Center for the Arts in Wesleyan University. This exhibition included three large size photos from their 2017 trip to Fukushima, a 65 min video Eiko re-edited consisting of Fukushima photos taken during their 2017 visit to Fukushima and selected still photographies of Eiko's performances at the Metropolitan Museum in New York City. 

Eiko also created four and a a half hour video as a video installation which will premiere at PICA's TBA Festival. Eiko also reedited a two and a half hour screening version, which will premiere in Taipei Taiwan in August 2019.