CEPA Gallery is pleased to announce an immersive performance of The Blue, premiering at Big Orbit Project Space on Saturday, April 27, 2019
In collaboration with Melanie Aceto Contemporary Dance, performance artist Hanae Utamura will offer a meditation on Niagara Falls, narrated through the lens of the ancient Japanese Shinto religion and the Japanese postwar consciousness. Drawing on Niagara’s long history—as an object to be conquered by daredevils, a source of hydroelectric power, and a dumping ground for toxic waste—the performance will examine the constant renegotiation between humans and the environment.
The performance will explore the human will to conquer and extract energies from nature for scientific development, the paradoxical longing to become one with nature, and the ongoing renegotiation of this dialog within new social bodies after nuclear fallout. Through sound, choreographed dance, video, sculpture, and text, the past, present, and future will collide. Light will act as a primary motif, holding both sacred and toxic qualities. The performance will approach light from many angles, considering both its divine nature in the Shinto religion and the phenomenon of Cherenkov radiation, which causes the distinctive blue glow of an underwater nuclear reactor. In the Tokaimura nuclear accident in Japan in 1999, a victim recalled that he “saw the color of blue light” at the moment when the Cherenkov radiation reached his retina. Looking to Niagara Falls, the blue water and the sky, the connections begin to merge. This blue light becomes both the human and scientific will that permeates all of history—the moment of transcendence, the blue.