- VISUAL ARTS
FFF4 | Don't Follow the Wind
Chim↑Pom, Kenji Kubota, Eva & Franco Mattes and Jason Waite
2-14 MAY 2017
Classical Acropol Hotel Athens (1, Pireos St., Omonoia)
Outside the OCC
Ongoing inside the radioactive Fukushima exclusion zone, the inaccessible and unseen exhibition opens a "Non-Visitor Center" in Athens. New works dealing with forced displacement inhabit an abandoned building tackling the Greek reality.
General admission fee: 3 €
On March 11, 2011, a devastating earthquake hit Japan. The earthquake and the tsunami that followed would cause one of the world's worst nuclear accidents at the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Station owned by TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company). Vast amounts of radioactivity were released into the environment, 100,000 or more people who lived in the area evacuated many of whom remain displaced to this day.
Spurred on by the nuclear catastrophe and its impact on every aspect of the lives of the region's displaced inhabitants, the curatorial collective consisting of Chim↑Pom, Kenji Kubota, Eva & Franco Mattes, and Jason Waite planned a courageous political and artistic gesture. In March 2015, they mobilized 12 artists (among them Ai Weiwei, Meiro Koizumi, Trevor Paglen and Taryn Simon) and asked them to develop new commissions inside the radioactive Fukushima exclusion zone— hosted in empty buildings lent by former residents where there is an eerie silence of a place totally devoid of any human presence. Intensely political, the action remains inaccessible, unviewed and unvisited. Now, multiplied in Fukushima's disturbing emptiness, its power is to be transferred to Greece and to the 4th Fast Forward Festival at the OCC.
Taking as its starting point the common condition of displacement, Don't Follow the Wind will set up a Non-Visitor Centre in a building in central Athens which was boarded up in 2011, forced to close by the then-recent economic crisis, and has remained empty ever since.
The collective has once again mobilized a group of artists, this time to create original works which have a bearing on the situation in Greece while simultaneously engaging with the inaccessible exhibition in Fukushima's radioactive zone. At the same time, a 360° film on the projects in headsets made by three generations of a family that lives in Fukushima's polluted area, just outside the exclusion zone.
The Athens installation will include a forum for the forcibly displaced, bringing together all those who have been forced to abandon their homes by environmental pollution, economic crises, or conflict. The forum will provide a platform for the exchange of experiences and tools borne of displacement, and for the drawing up of an expression of mutual assistance and a shared vision for a radically different future.
3 May | 15:00 | Classical Acropol Hotel
Discussion with the curators and the artists Chim↑Pom, Kenji Kubota, Eva and Franco Mattes, Jason Waite, Kota Takeuchi
"An inaccessible encounter: Don't Follow the Wind"
Artists and curators of Don't Follow the Wind, the inaccessible project inside the radioactive Fukushima exclusion zone, discussing their long-term projects inside the zone and the new exhibition in Athens with images of artworks that have never been seen before.
creditsCuratorial team: Chim↑Pom, Kenji Kubota, Eva & Franco Mattes, Jason Waite
Participant artists: Chim↑Pom, Meiro Koizumi, Kota Takeuchi, Eva and Franco Mattes, Nikolaus Hirsch & Jorge Otero-Palios, Aiko Miniyaga
Line Production: Dimitra Bouzani, Olga Papadopoulou
Location Managers: Panagiotis Lazarakos, Elena Lamprou
Commissionned and produced by: Onassis Cultural Centre / Fast Forward Festival (Athens)
read moreThe Non-Visitor Centre of the ongoing Don't Follow the Wind project to the Fast Forward Festival is its first large-scale action in Europe. A different version of the exhibition was presented at the Watari Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, in 2015. In addition, aspects of the project, all of them linked to the installation in the Fukushima exclusion zone, were presented at the 20th Biennale of Sydney in 2016 and at Perpetual Uncertainty, an exhibition staged at the Umeå Museum of Contemporary Art in Sweden.
The precise location of each artwork in the radioactive zone around the Fukushima power plant is kept secret and will only be revealed when the area is deemed suitable for humans once more and the residents can return. This means that no one can know when or if they will be able to see the exhibition during their lifetime. Judging from the current radiation levels and the fear they engender, the works seem likely to remain inaccessible and invisible in Fukushima's echoing silence for decades to come.