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Absolute Helligkeit
The second part of the shadow trilogy

2012.  Installation I Performance

Concept, visual design, sound design, performance: Naoko Tanaka

Dramaturgical collaboration:  Adam Czirak

Technical director on tour: Milos Vujkovic


Duration: 40 min.

Production: Naoko Tanaka, Christine Peterges

Co-production: SOPHIENSÆLE (Berlin)

Support: Senate Department for Culture and Europe, PACT Zollverein (Essen), Kunststiftung NRW

Thanks to: Jo Grys, Gallery Murata & Friends, Alise Michon

​Video-Dokumentation: Heiko Rahnenführer

AbsoluteHelligkeit Map EN

In a room that lost its stability, a single point of light is the real protagonist. This autonomous eye floats like a satellite in the universe, stimulating the senses of the observer in order to uncover unknown spheres of our thoughts.


In astronomy, the concept of ‘absolute magnitude’ (‘Absolute Helligkeit’ in German, literally ‘absolute brightness’) is a measure which allows us to compare the brightness of individual stars. The brightness is calculated at a distance of 32.6 light years and allows us to comprehend that which goes beyond the limits of our physical perception. 

This installationsperformance delves into the connotations that this mathematical measure evokes, in order to relate the subjective and the objective, the sensory and the tangible. This is what causes the epistemological astonishment in the spectator.

„Naoko Tanaka's image-noise-movement-machine astonishingly resembles the phenomenon of thought. And this insight accompanies the shadow images through the room in the circular light, intangible but clearly there, at the limit of the logically understandable. Suddenly science seems to once again be connected to that which is incomprehensible to our senses. Beyond this point lies the wonder of very early science and the spectator draws level with the human being in the absolute brightness, as a trembling, vibrant body of a participation-membrane. Naoko Tanaka's epistemological linkage between science and art offers a perfect way of exploring it.“

- Franziska Oehme  - ARTiBERLIN online, 07.07.2012



23.06.2017 // PACT Zollverein, Essen

09.02.2017 // Sophiensaele, Berlin

15.&16.April 2016 //  Commedia Futura, Hannover, Germany

26.&27.Juli 2015 // Echigo Tsumari Art Triennale 2015, Niigata, Japan

30.10.2014 // Theaterfestival Favoriten 2014, Dortmund

03.10.2014 // explore dancefestival, Bucharest, Romania 

22.& 23.06.2013 // PACT Sommerfest / PACT Zollverein, Essen

09.& 10.05.2013 // 18. Internationales Figurentheater-Festival, Erlangen 

30.04.2013 // Danae Festival, Mailand, Italy

04.07.(Premiere) 05. & 06. & 07. & 08.07.2012 // PERFORMANCE PLATFORM. BODY AFFECTS // Sophiensaele, Berlin



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