Blue Passages

15 July 2016  
Banyuls-sur-Mer, France – Portbou, Spain
multi-media installation, Walter Benjamin’s “Passages”

Torch Design
Ben Kikkawa 吉川勉

Yoi Kawakubo 川久保ジョイ

Sound Editing and Music
Syo Yoshihama 吉濱翔

Richard Nicholson

Costume Design
Kyoko Wainai 和井内京子

Yuki Miyake 三宅由希

with thanks to:
Dani Karavan
Kazuko Koike 小池一子
Pilar Parcerisas
Jonathan Whitewall
Adam Wright
Yoosuke Takahashi 高橋洋介
Nomura Foundation 野村財団

Photo: Keizo Kioku

In Blue Passages a woman brandishes a burning torch and makes a tortuous journey across the Pyrenees from Banyuls-sur-Mer, France to Portbou, Spain. She walks in the footsteps of the German Jewish philosopher, Walter Benjamin, tracing the route of his doomed attempt to escape the Nazis in 1940. When Benjamin arrived in Portbou, he was refused permission to cross the border into Spain. In despair, he retired to his room at the Hotel de Francia, where he killed himself with an overdose of morphine. The woman in the video descends into the Portbou, carrying her torch through ‘Passages’, Dani Karavan’s memorial landscape sculpture dedicated to Walter Benjamin. The torch in the performance is inspired by the torch relay of the Olympic flame. Torch relay was invented by the Nazis as a propaganda tool for the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

Photo:  Richard Nicholson

Photo: Keizo Kioku

Photo: Keizo Kioku