contemporary art / history of art

Märztage (March days) – A Fukushima Memorial as Video-Performance

11 – 24 March 2021 (still available)

On 11th March 2011, a triple catastrophe stroke Japan: First, the most powerful earthquake ever recorded in Japan had shaken the region of Tōhoku, followed by a terrible tsunami. The huge waves met the six reactors of the nuclear power plant of Fukushima. Subsequently nuclear meltdown took place in three reactors.

The German artist Thomas Neumann, lived for two years in Japan. In 2011, he had just returned to Germany a few days before the events. He tried to deal with his emotions by photographing his environment. In his book “Märztage” (March days) he confronted the resulting images with news reports from the first fourteen days of the catastrophe.

Ten years later, he initiated a long video-performance in remembrance of the tragedy. For this purpose, he asked 14 people living in different countries to read passages of the book and register this in a video. From 11th March 2021 on, each participant read the news reports from the day 10 years ago. Additionally, the readers recounted their memories and feelings about the calamity. The result is a kaleidoscope of different impressions regarding the events in Japan and its impact. Moreover, the reading of news, exactly at the day ten years later, makes the situation impressively aware, from the first uncertain notices to the increasing certitude of the dimension of the tragedy. Consecutively published at the projects website, the videos remain available as a kind of digital memorial.