June 26 - July 3, 2022
Title: Under an Unnamed Flower
Theater art, performance, music, and dance
Writing, performance, costume, design, dramaturgy, and composition by Aine E. Nakamura
Production by La Biennale di Venezia
Duration: 40:00 (excerpt 05:03)
Premiered at The Venice Biennale at The 50th International Theatre Festival
In this 40-minute site-specific performance I presented at Campo Santo Stefano in Venice, I sang, moved and spoke—as I performed as an unnamed flower; a woman who was killed across the Atlantic Ocean; a silkworm together with a parachute and together with the sounds of the loom of Venetian silk textile; my great-grandmother together with the voices of the remaining lace makers on the Burano Island, and about war as a child who would lose her mother, beg and try to sell kimono, and die in hunger; and as a storyteller of and through embodiments of these multiple, connecting an apple and memories.
In between me, the audience and this site, there are cloths, which are islands, silk textiles, a coffin, and the blanket of a war orphan; the stones which are tombs, foods, and the apple; the parachute, which is mulberry leaves, high-class silk products, a cloak of a king or silkworm, a forest in which families hide, and the last playground of a war orphan who is in anger and despair about adults and war; and the body part of the parachute, with which I enter and which is the dead body. The gestures of weaving and memories connect these multiple and become, in the end, flower petals, and the last breath and the first breath, for me.
Special thank you to the lace makers in Burano at Museo del Merletto di Burano, and the Venetian textile makers at Fondazione Rubelli and Tessitura Luigi Bevilacqua, with whom I shared time through interviews and of which sound is used, and the artistic directors of the International Theatre Festival of the Venice Biennale, Stefano Ricci and Gianni Forte.
For more about this work, please see HERE.
August 5 & 6, 2023
Title: Honehitotsu (one/a bone)
Performance of voice, body and mask
In collaboration with Keiko Miyamori
Voice, body, composition and performance by Aine Nakamura
Mask created by Keiko Miyamori
Production by mh PROJECT ノコギリ二, mh PROJECT nyc
Presented at mh PROJECT ノコギリ二, Ichinomiya
Duration: 30:00 each
The two performances were presented upon the exhibition Me, The Timeless Self – within the Umwelt by visual artist Keiko Miyamori and produced by mhPROJECT Nokogirini at a former weaving factory, Nokogirini, in Ichinomiya. Umwelt was the theme of the exhibition, meaning species having different perceptions of the environment. Miyamori took rubbed copied of trees in a forest at Iwato Shrine on washi and ganpi paper, and exhibits them together with a boat with flower petals in, and an acorn. With this theme, I was requested by Miyamori for performances that would allow the audience to feel energy-body.
I started to see Miyamori’s rubbing and the installation as mediums of the concept of umwelt, and I aimed to be the medium, like the skins of paper/trees exhibited, between different time flows of species and things at the site such as weaving tools, between acorn, insects, trees, and humans, between rubbing, life, and death (in a long flow becoming soil for trees), which was also one of concepts Miyamori introduced through sound installation.
By wearing masks which hid my face, I tried to perform from the space, time, and the energy-body, instead of my flesh and identified body. I focused on depth of self instead of surface of ego (Izutsu Toshihiko), i.e. what may be beneath the surfaces of skins/paper. The architecture of the factory also became my compositional approach, and I moved across structural borders from an empty space/stage, installation site, in between audience, old door frames, weaving loom space, to an outdoor realm. The energy-body became the performing body and the architecture was a building or costume for the energy-body.
Day 1, video and audio documented by Kenta Ito