Hanae Utamura (Japanese, b. 1980) Secret Performance Series, 2010-2013 HD Video, 19:70 min. looped Edition of 3 + 1AP + 1EP ©2010 Hanae Utamura. Courtesy of the artist Wiping the Sahara Desert, 2010, 1:04 min, Sahara Desert, Tunisia Casting the Wave, 2010, 1:03 min, Den Haag, The Netherlands Splashing Water at Sahara Desert, 2010, 2:26 min, Sahara Desert, Tunisia Scrubbing the Edge of Salt Lake, 2010, 00:45 min, Chott el Djerid, Tunisia Surrender: Practice for Unconditional Love, 2010, 4:30 min, Leyton Marsh, London Snow Balloon, 2011, 1:29 min, Hämeenkyrö, Finland Red Line, 2011, 1:42 min, Dover, England Wiping the Snow, 2011, 1:45 min, Haukijärvi, Finland When a Line Becomes a Circle, 2013, 6:46 min, Baengnyeongdo Island, South Korea
Ritual at the sites of nuclear contamination, and in landscapes generally, plays a special role in the art of Hanae Utamura who was born 80 miles from the Fukushima plant, a daughter of a scientist involved in the research of nuclear power generation. Utamura explores the connection between humans and earth using her physical body as a conduit. The central focus of her practice is the negotiation between nature and civilization, specifically, the relationship between man, science, and nature. By decentralizing human perspective, she enters the imagination of nature. In Secret Performance Series (2010-2013), the artist’s petite figure performs rituals in open landscapes some of which seem to be Sisyphean acts of taming nature; where nature itself is the main doer.