Saturday, March 16th, 2019 A Body in Fukushima: Reflections on the Nuclear in Everyday Life

Saturday, March 16, 20191:00PM - 5:00PMExternal Event, Innis Town Hall, University of Toronto, 2 Sussex Avenue


NOTE: This event consists of three components: (1) Photo Exhibitions – March 4 to April 14; (2) A Body in a Library Performance by Eiko Otake – March 15; (3) Video Screening and Symposium – March 16. All three are free of charge. Registration is required ONLY for the the third part – Video Screening and Symposium.

This is a multi-sited, multi-media, and multi-disciplinary event that demonstrates how art can contribute to critical reflection on the nuclearization of everyday life in our contemporary world. Since 2014 Eiko Otake and William Johnston have photographed the performer among the ruins and abandoned places that have been left in the aftermath of the nuclear catastrophe of March 2011. Following a magnitude 9 earthquake off the coast of Northeastern Japan, a massive tsunami inundated reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Plant, resulting in meltdowns in three reactors. The Fukushima disaster is regarded as the second largest nuclear accident in history, and yet its full consequences remain temporally and spatially boundless and ultimately unknowable — a reality that Otake’s haunting bodily performances and Johnston’s striking photography make so compelling. Otake’s and Johnston’s collaborative work on Fukushima has been exhibited in major venues across the Americas and appears in Canada for the first time.

Otake is a world-renowned, movement-based artist who performed as Eiko and Koma for more than forty years before beginning her solo performances for the project, A Body in Places. Her awards include a Guggenheim, MacArthur, Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award, and Dance Magazine Award for lifetime achievement. William Johnston is a photographer and historian whose critically acclaimed written work and photography have focused on issues of the body, sexuality, disease, the environment, and public health. The symposium accompanying the exhibitions and performance will feature presentations by leading scholars and artists working across disciplines.

DATES: March 4 – April 14, 2019 (depending on the library hours)
Robarts Library, 130 St. George Street, Toronto, ON
1st floor exhibition area,and 8th floor, Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library
Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge St., Toronto, ON
3rd and 5th floors

Takashi Fujitani, Director, Dr. David Chu Program in Asia Pacific Studies
Henry Heng Lu, Independent Curator and Founder, Call Again

DATE: Friday, March 15, 5:15 – 7:00 PM
LOCATION: Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON

* Registration is required *
DATE: Saturday, March 16, 1:00 – 5:00 PM, followed by reception
LOCATION: Innis Town Hall, Innis College, 2 Sussex Ave., Toronto, ON
Eiko Otake, Independent movement-based performance artist
William Johnston, Department of History, Wesleyan University

Takashi Fujitani, Department of History and Dr. David Chu Program in Asia-Pacific Studies, University of Toronto
Marilyn Ivy, Department of Anthropology, Columbia University
Photography and 3.11, with a meditation on William Johnston’s photographs of Eiko Otake in Fukushima
Katy McCormick, School of Image Arts, Ryerson University
Searching for A Body, Finding Trees
Lisa Yoneyama, Women and Gender Studies Institute and Department of East Asian Studies, University of Toronto
Post-Fukushima Epistemology
Tong Lam, Department of History, University of Toronto
Fallout, promise! Some reflections on pink landscapes

For more information from the Toronto Public Library, please click here.

Main Sponsor

Dr. David Chu Program in Asia Pacific Studies


Toronto Reference Library

University of Toronto Libraries

Asian Institute


East Asian Studies Department, University of Toronto

School of Image Arts, Ryerson University

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