Two-channel video & sound installation, 5’ 30 min. 2018
The installation looks at the cyclical notion of water through the production of silk in Japan and the Prussian Blue Pigment. Two pairs of videos parallel both natural and artificial metamorphosis in silk production. The second pair of videos is based on the scientific transformation of Prussian blue pigment into a medication treating radioactive contamination.
The two-channel video features my documentation of researchers from the of Water Quality Center of Gunma Prefecture, Japan: water-sampling in different locations around nature and industrial areas to be tested for pollution and radioactive materials.The second screen features a fake laboratory made in my studio, in which I ‘produce’ Prussian blue pills; by erasing fragments of Ukiyo-e, ancient Japanese prints, in which the image of water was inked by Prussian blue. I used chemicals to extract a ‘blue pigment’, residues of the vintage prints. The process of extracting blue pigment from 19th century prints embody the cyclical concept of the project. Prussian blue pigment, the first synthetic pigment, marked and characterized the waters in Japanese nature in the famous 19th century prints (Ukiyo-e – translates to English – Pictures of the floating world). Today, Radiogardase, is the pharmaceutical name of 500mg Prussian Blue pill – a remedy against radioactive poisonous materials which can be found in Japan’s water since the tragic Tohoku earthquake in 2011 that triggered powerful tsunami waves that caused meltdowns of Fukushima nuclear power plants. Since then, Japans` water is polluted.
The project is a visual essay on our conflicting relationship to nature that can be expressed with the word plant, “ being both a factory and green spurt of nature in garden and forest? Is not this ultimate deception the unforced, natural poetry, combining the manmade with the natural ? “
Michael Taussig, What color is the sacred, The University of Chicago Press, 2009.