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The third part of the shadow trilogy

2015. Installation I Performance


Concept, stage, sculpture, performance:  Naoko Tanaka

Musical collaboration: Luca Fogagnolo

Dramaturgical collaboration: Adam Czirak

Performance: Alise Michon

Technical direction, set:  Thomas Lehmen

Lighting plan, technics: Felix Grimm

Assistance: Finn Leon Cam, Marie Golüke

Production management: ehrliche arbeit – freies Kulturbüro


Duration: 50 min.

Production:  Naoko Tanaka

Co-production: SOPHIENSÆLE (Berlin)

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

​Video-Dokumentation: Heiko Rahnenführer

What lies behind, between, and around our memories? A space populated by the un-internalized. We find ourselves in spheres of images, emotions, things visible and invisible. We are surrounded by dark expanses, where shadows take on immense weight. 

Naoko Tanaka’s new work invites spectators to try and envisage the present as memory, to set loose in the sea of lost images. Her choreography of light takes us into our ‘inner outside world’ and traces the spatial and temporal boundaries of the imagination. Un-internalized fragments swarm into view, become material, manifest, take shape as plastic poetry. As if viewed from the lonely perspective of a child keenly experiencing the world, the objects float, bob up and down, and circle us in changing states of deformation and flux. 


„In places where reason cannot penetrate, I imagine that all forgotten, unmemorable, and un-internalized experiences can still take shape.”(Naoko Tanaka)


„...Eswathes of canvas circle the room, the same kind of canvas that usually offers painters a stable, secure support for their works. But Tanaka’s canvases dance. The perspectives change. Like light cast onto a nô mask to variously give the impression of joy or of mourning, she uses light like a brush—a brush that paints with perspective. Tanaka’s new piece was created on a residency in Japan. In Germany former sites of industry, like the Ruhr, are converted into cultural venues for such spectacles as the European Capital of Culture. In Japan, due to the country’s shifting demographics, the new converted art spaces are schools.In one such school Tanaka found chairs for six-year-olds, changed their construction and outline. The shadows they cast translate the manipulated forms back into real chairs. Reality is manipulated, but the spectator’s stoic eye transforms what it sees back into familiar forms. Naoko Tanaka counteracts this process, moving her own body around the stage like a spotlight. As a bearer of light, she dances with such precision that she is able to illuminate not her own body, but our imaginations...“

- Arnd Wesemann  - TANZ /03/2015




​20.,21.& 22.10.2017 // KYOTO EXPERIMENT 2017 - Kyoto International Performing Arts Festival, Japan

​22.&23.06.2017 // PACT Zollverein, Essen

11.&12.02.2017 // Sophiensaele, Berlin

02.12.2015 // ND’T Performing Arts Festival, Parma, Italy 

29.03.2015 / PACT Zollverein, Essen 

11.,12.,13.&14.02.2015 / SOPHIENSAELE, Berlin 


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