Take a walk in Fukushima. In a simple room in a renovated warehouse in Yokohama provides the circumstances in which to experience a remote, site-specific exhibition taking place in the exclusion zone, some 200 miles away along the coast.
If it weren’t for the gravity of the subject, the project could have been overshadowed by the novelty of the medium it is presented on: a 360-degree video. Instead, the form the work takes only emphasises the importance of the site seen in relation to where the viewer experiences it. In this case, from a safe distance.
Presented on headsets inserted in makeshift cases, viewers wander among artworks installed inside the affected zone. Shown as part of Yokohama Triennale 2017, ‘Don’t Follow the Wind’ is a long-term exhibition created after the nuclear disaster.
Initiated by the artist collective Chim↑Pom and co-developed with curators Kenji Kubota, Eva and Franco Mattes, and Jason Waite, its inclusion at Yokohama befits a festival whose overall exhibition aim examines notions of connectivity and isolation, being at once in the immediate proximity and far away.
Of the works that constitute ‘Don’t Follow the Wind’, the installation that shows how devoid the area is of human presence is Ai Weiwei’s ‘A Ray of Hope’ (2015-). Using solar-powered lights that switch on each day, deliberately when no one is there, the dissident Chinese artist illuminates a vacant building, the only light to be seen for miles.
‘Don’t Follow the Wind’ also includes artworks inside the zone by Aiko Miyanaga, Chim↑Pom, Grand Guignol Mirai, Nikolaus Hirsch and Jorge Otero-Pailos, Kota Takeuchi, Eva and Franco Mattes, Meiro Koizumi, Nobuaki Takekawa, Ahmet Ögüt, Trevor Paglen, and Taryn Simon.
For more details: dontfollowthewind.info