chapter  12
9 Pages

Witnessing Nagasaki for the second time

WithRyuta Imafuku

The work of artist Takeda Shinpei conveys a sense of anguished hope born at the scene of the primal banishment out of our historical experience of nuclear ground zero. The voice comes from a standpoint beyond the naïve-empiricist differentiation between the participant and the non-participant, the insider and the outsider – in other words from a position of facing the reality of banishment from disaster head-on – that Takeda begins his working process. The artist’s ceaseless critical thinking opens the way to escape from apocalyptic destruction, from the nuclear shroud that is winding itself around humanity, and finally tells a possibility of weaving of new mechanisms of memory. At this moment, we become witnesses to the atomic bombing for a second time, conduits for passage of the catastrophic memory on to future generations.