Post 3.11 – What Can Art Do? Case 2 – Documenting Tohoku

Post 3.11 is a series of talks with individuals who through art have in various ways been involved in supporting the victims of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in the Tohoku region of Japan. Showcasing their activities, this series aims to examine how the role of the artist and art activities can be vital in such unprecedented situations, in spreading awareness and helping restore confidence among those affected, fundamentally questioning whether art has to have a practical social function.

For this second session, The Japan Foundation has invited emerging artist and filmmaker Hikaru Fujii for this special talk, taking place during his Residency in UK as part of the Art Action UK Respite Residency Project. Through his works including ‘Artist and the Disaster / Documentation in Progress’ exhibited at Art Tower Mito in 2012, and ‘3.11 Art Documentation PROJECT FUKUSHIMA!’, he documented the devastated landscape and artist community in Tohoku in 2011 and further explored and questioned the relationship between 3.11 and art in his ongoing project ‘Record of Costal Landscape’. Briefly introducing his work and activities, Fujii will demonstrate why he was prompted to act in a way as an artist and filmmaker, and suggest what he feels art can do in response to the disaster.

Joining the discussion with Fujii will be two members of the acclaimed artists collective, The Otolith Group, Kodwo Eshun and Angalika Sagar. Nominated for the Turner Prize in 2010, The Otolith Group is renowned for its critically engaged and thought-provoking films, including ‘RADIANT’, a piece concerning the nuclear issue and its wider implications, first presented at dOCUMENTA(13).

Together Fujii and The Otolith Group, through their personal and collaborative experiences, will discuss the need for and the questions surrounding issues of documentation in the form of art including the democratisation of media, and examine how effective art’s and artists’ intervention on the local and global landscape can be. By depicting the disaster in Tohoku, what do artists want to achieve and indeed what can be achieved?

Date: 9 May 2013, 6:30pm
Venue: The Japan Foundation, 10-12 Russell Square, London, WC1B 5EH
Tel: 020 7436 6695
Organiser: The Japan Foundation

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