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Japan Syndrome

Art and Politics after Fukushima

20.–29.5.2014 / HAU1, HAU2, HAU3

Three years after the tsunami in northeastern Japan and the damage to the nuclear reactor in Fukushima, many people, including a growing number of artists, have got beyond the agony and speechlessness that set in after the disaster. They are starting to recognize that the catastrophe uncovered many hitherto undisclosed rifts within Japanese society, and made it possible to describe the myths of the post-war period, the belief in unrestricted economic growth through cheap energy and in the ability to control nature and technology, as an existential threat to the population.

The festival Japan Syndrome lasts for ten days and considers the question of how Japanese society and the language of art have changed since the events of March 11, 2011. Theatre artists such as Toshiki Okada, Akira Takayama and Takuya Murakawa, visual artists such as Tadasu Takamine or Nina Fischer & Maroan el Sani and musicians such as Toni Kudo, the band Sangatsu and documentary filmmaker Hikaru Fujii will present new works in this framework, of which some are being created in close cooperation with HAU Hebbel am Ufer.


"When posed the question 'What can art do?' in a critical situation, in which we are exposed to not only a natural disaster and severe accident, but to acts of political, economic and psychological violence, a contemporary art becomes deeply unsettled, in an everyday world that urges 'problem solving'. 'Festival', as a form of religious ritual art created during the pre-modern era, was needed as a technique to regenerate, that is, to reconstruct affected areas. However, art from the modern era on, which attempted to separate itself entirely from its societal functions under the call for freedom, was stuck and afflicted. It stood in silence, faced with the decision of whether or not the technique to overcome crises could be included into the plasticity of artistic expression. Even in such circumstances, one artist makes a decision, opening to a relationship with social networks beyond the individual level. Another artist places songs in the lungs of each victim who had swallowed seawater, retaliating with poetic means against a crumbling world struck by the nuclear reactor accident. Yet another artist attempts to continue the pre-3.11 individual and independent art production, carrying the physical sensation of bearing the silence within. I think if there is anything that art can do, it is something along the lines of breaking the silence, utilising numerous means to do so."

The original text by Hikaru Fujii comes from the exhibition catalogue “Artists and the Disaster – Documentation in Progress” (2012) at the Contemporary Art Center, Art Tower Mito (Japan) and is also printed in the HAU-festival publication "Japan Syndrome".
Concept: Annemie Vanackere, Christoph Gurk
Artistic collaboration/production managment: Jana Bäskau, Ulrike Krautheim
Production assistant: Masahiko Yokobori, Kristin Buddenberg
Graphic design: Jürgen Fehrmann, Sonja Deffner
Artistic direction & management: Annemie Vanackere
With special thanks to: Stéphane Bauer und den Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien, The Japan Foundation, Hans-Thies Lehmann, Hiromi Maruoka, Takio Okamura, Prof. Dr. Steffi Richter, Makiko Yamaguchi

Supported by the German Federal Cultural Foundation.

20.5.2014

20.–29.5. / HAU2 (Open Air) / Admission free
Yukihiro Taguchi   
Open House: Confronting Comfort #2
19:00 opening / HAU2 / Admission free
21.–29.5., daily from 18:00
20:00 / HAU2
Toshiki Okada / chelfitsch
Current Location

21.5.2014

18:00 opening / HAU1/ Admission free
22.–29.5., daily from 17:00
Salon 3.11
Talks, Performances
Parcours 3.11
Akira Takayama:
Referendum Project (2011/2014)
Hikaru Fujii:
3.11 Art Documentation (2011-ongoing)
Nina Fischer & Maroan el Sani:
Spirits Closing Their Eyes (2013)
PET Bottle Shield (2014)
Contaminated Home (2014)
Hikaru Suzuki:
Mr. S & Doraemon (2012)
19:00 / HAU2
Toshiki Okada / chelfitsch
Current Location
21:00 / HAU1

22.5.2014

17:30 / HAU1 / Admission free
Salon 3.11
Hikaru Fujii and Stéphane Bauer in conversation
19:00 / HAU3
Takuya Murakawa
Zeitgeber
20:30 / HAU1
Hikaru Fujii
Project Fukushima!

23.5.2014

17:30 / HAU 1 / Admission free
Salon 3.11
Tadasu Takamine und Steffi Richter im Gespräch
19:00 / HAU3
Takuya Murakawa
Zeitgeber
20:30 / HAU1
Hikaru Fujii
Asahiza
In conversation: Hikaru Fujii and Akira Takayama

24.5.2014

15:00 / Cuvry-Brache* / Admission free
Salon 3.11
Open House: “Dis-Cuvry – Confronting Comfort #1”
With Yukihiro Taguchi, Chiara Ciccarello and Lutz Henke
* Meeting point: Schlesische Str. / Ecke Cuvrystr.
19:00 / HAU3
Takuya Murakawa
Zeitgeber
Afterwards: Takuya Murakawa and Hans-Thies Lehmann in conversation
20:30 / HAU2
Phenomenon Manga - Japanese Comics and 3.11
With Jaqueline Berndt and Steffi Richter

25.5.2014

18:00 / HAU1
Parcours / Salon 3.11
Sachiko Hara
Hiroshima Salon
20:00 / HAU2
End of comfort zone? Art and Politics after Fukushima
With Chiaki Soma, Hiroma Maruoka, Akira Takayama amongst others /
Moderation: Stefanie Carp

26.5.2014

17:30 / HAU1 / Admission free
Salon 3.11
Atsuhiro Koizumi (Sangatsu) and Christoph Gurk in conversation
20:00 / HAU1
Nina Fischer & Maroan El Sani
I live in Fear - After March 11
In conversation: Toshiki Okada, Nina Fischer & Maroan El Sani

27.5.2014

ab 18:00 / HAU2 (Open Air) / Admission free    
Salon 3.11
Open House: Confronting Comfort #2 / With Yukihiro Taguchi, Chiara Ciccarello and Lutz Henke
20:00 / HAU1
Concert
Sangatsu

28.5.2014

17:30 / HAU1 / Admission free
Salon 3.11
Kyoichi Tsuzuki and Christoph Gurk in conversation
20:00 / HAU2
Toshiki Okada / chelfitsch
Super Premium Soft Double Vanilla Rich

29.5.2014

17:30 / HAU1 / Admission free
Salon 3.11
Toshiki Okada and Peter Laudenbach in conversation
20:00 / HAU2
Toshiki Okada / chelfitsch
Super Premium Soft Double Vanilla Rich
22:00 / HAU1