Center For the Arts CFA

"A Body in Fukushima" exhibition opens February 3, 2015 at Wesleyan University

Tuesday, December 2, 2014 - Sunday, May 24, 2015

"A Body in Fukushima" exhibition opens February 3, 2015 at Wesleyan University

Wesleyan University's Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery,
Davison Art Center, and College of East Asian Studies Gallery at Mansfield Freeman Center
present
 
A Body in Fukushima
 
Tuesday, February 3 through Sunday, March 1, 2015
South Gallery, Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery
 
Tuesday, February 3 through Thursday, March 5, 2015
Davison Art Center
 
Tuesday, February 3 through Sunday, May 24, 2015
College of East Asian Studies Gallery at Mansfield Freeman Center
 
 
Middletown, Conn. – A Body in Fukushima is a haunting series of color photographs and videos presented in a groundbreaking exhibition across all three of Wesleyan’s galleries: the South Gallery of the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery; the Davison Art Center; and the College of East Asian Studies Gallery at Mansfield Freeman Center. In 2014, dancer-choreographer Eiko Otake and photographer-historian William Johnston followed abandoned train tracks through desolate stations into eerily vacant towns and fields in Fukushima, Japan. Following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, the explosions of the Daiichi nuclear plant there made the area uninhabitable. Sometimes in vulnerable gestures and at other times in a fierce dance, Ms. Otake embodies grief, anger and remorse. Mr. Johnston’s crystalline images capture her with the cries of the Fukushima landscapes. “By placing my body in these places,” she says, “I thought of the generations of people who used to live there. I danced so as not to forget.”  A project of witness, remembrance and empathy, "A Body in Fukushima" grapples with the reality of human failure. As Mr. Johnston writes, “By witnessing events and places, we actually change them and ourselves in ways that may not always be apparent but are important.”
 
William Johnston is Professor of History and East Asian Studies at Wesleyan, and Eiko Otake is Visiting Artist in the Dance Department and the College of East Asian Studies. "A Body in Fukushima" was co-commissioned by Wesleyan University and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia. This project was made possible in part by funds from the Japan Foundation, the Creative Campus Initiative of the Center for the Arts, and the Office of Academic Affairs, Wesleyan University.
 
"A Body in Fukushima" will be on display in all three Wesleyan University art galleries as follows. Admission to all three galleries is free. All three galleries are closed on Mondays.
 
·      Tuesday, February 3 through Sunday, March 1, 2015 from Noon to 5pm: South Gallery, Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery, 283 Washington Terrace, Middletown, Connecticut.
·      Tuesday, February 3 through Thursday, March 5, 2015 from Noon to 4pm: Davison Art Center, 301 High Street, Middletown, Connecticut.
·      Tuesday, February 3 through Sunday, May 24, 2015 from Noon to 4pm: College of East Asian Studies Gallery at Mansfield Freeman Center, 343 Washington Terrace, Middletown, Connecticut (Closed Friday, March 6 through Tuesday, March 24, 2015).
 
An artist talk with Eiko Otake and William Johnston will be held on Thursday, February 5, 2015 from 5:30pm to 6pm in CFA Hall, located at 287 Washington Terrace on the Wesleyan campus in Middletown, followed from 6pm to 7pm by a walking tour of the three galleries, with an opening reception in each location. The snow date for the artist talk, gallery tours and opening receptions is Tuesday, February 10, 2015 from 5pm to 7pm. Admission to the artist talk, gallery tours, and opening receptions is free.
 
Related Events
 
3.11: Disaster and Change in Japan
Thursday, February 12, 2015 at 4:30pm
Seminar Room, Mansfield Freeman Center, College of East Asian Studies
FREE!There will be a book signing following the talk.
 
A lecture by Richard J. Samuels, Ford International Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for International Studies, and Founding Director of MIT Japan Program.
 
A Body in Places
Monday, February 23, 2015 at 10pm
Olin Library Lobby, 252 Church Street
FREE!
 
"A Body in Places" is dancer/choreographer Eiko Otake’s first solo project, which incorporates both performative and non-performative elements, and includes the photography exhibition A Body in Fukushima. Central to the project is a drive to explore non-traditional venues and to respond to the innate characteristics of each specific place.  At the core of each variant is her alone exploring solitude, gaze, fragility, and intimacy. Performing as a soloist, she willfully partners with the particularities of places and viewers. The conversation that happens in the community becomes an integral part of the experience for audience and artist alike.
 
Shakuhachi Performance by Ralph Samuelson MA ’71
Wednesday, April 1, 2015 at 8pm
Seminar Room, Mansfield Freeman Center, College of East Asian Studies
FREE!
 
Asian Cutural CouncilSenior Advisor Ralph Samuelson MA ’71 performs traditional music on shakuhachi (Japanese flute), followed by a performance with dancer/choreographer Eiko Otake.
 
Exhibition Reboot and Gallery Talk with Eiko Otake and William Johnston
Thursday, April 2, 2015 at Noon
Mansfield Freeman Center Gallery, College of East Asian Studies
FREE! A luncheon buffet will be served.
 
About the College of East Asian Studies Gallery at Mansfield Freeman Center
The College of East Asian Studies has two mutually-reinforcing core missions: to cultivate an outstanding group of students with strong language abilities, wide-ranging knowledge about East Asia, and an area of particular expertise; and to promote knowledge of and engagement with the histories, cultures, and contemporary significances of East Asia across the campus, curriculum, and broader community.
 
For more information about the College of East Asian Studies Gallery at Mansfield Freeman Center, please visit www.wesleyan.edu/ceas/exhibitions.
 
About the Davison Art Center
The Davison Art Center was established at Wesleyan University with the founding gifts of George Willets Davison (B.A. Wesleyan 1892). Today, it holds approximately 18,000 prints and 6,000 photographs in one of the foremost collections of prints and photographs at an American college or university. The collection supports teaching and learning from objects in many ways, and the Davison Art Center gallery presents public exhibitions during the academic year.
 
For more information about the Davison Art Center, please visit www.wesleyan.edu/dac.

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