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shiro takatani
CHROMA © Kazuo Fukunaga

CHROMA is an investigation into the nature of colour, tone and light, a non-story of how we learn to see and create the world we see. A collaborative effort of the entire creative team, all performers and participants contributed ideas from the sciences of physics and harmonics to their most personal associations and remembrances.
Simon Fisher Turner's music came first, then the title, which harks back to Chroma : A Book of Colour (1994), the last work by English artist-filmmaker Derek Jarman with whom Simon collaborated on numerous projects. As in the book, the performance intersperses poetry, anecdotes and quotes from such luminaries as Aristotle, Leonardo, Newton, Goethe and Wittgenstein with meditations on the loss of sight—not necessarily limited to Jarman's own AIDS-related blindness and subsequent death.
The staging casts time's arrow in reverse, starting from a wish to free the self from death ("Unclose your eyes") and regressing over the course of one day—one lifetime—to birth ("Feedback"). We hope the production may serve as an "eyepiece" and "mirror play" for viewers to reflect (and refract) upon their own chromatic sense of the world.


Human being can only be aware of present in the dimension of time, and can grasp limited space.
As we grow up, we realise how small is our existence, standing alone in a white space like a dot in an infinite space. We try to locate where we are at, but in the time as in a labyrinth of a straight lines, we can only locate the place relatively by relationships between each events.

By accepting such an uncertain and anxious existence, and not depending on a story, we think about an expression of "beauty" that appears "in a moment of our daily life".

The theme of our experiment this time is:

How can we appreciate "image" and "sound" now?

In result of a shift from analog to digital, we are blessed with high-resolution sound and video now.

How can we rediscover their meanings?

As Spinoza polished a lens to see the "beautiful world" as beautiful as it is, we have got new technology and are about to be able to capture any moment and to observe any details. But yet only its convenience or real-time interactivity is emphasized, we have not found any expression, that may be possible by the new technology, that let us experience a true, sometimes a frightful "beauty" of this reality.

This is not a content-based media art, but an experiment to rediscover art as a pure experience as a shock in a moment of a look..

Shiro Takatani, January 2012

World premiere:
8, 9 September 2012 at Biwako Hall Center for the performing Arts, Shiga, Japan

Artistic Director: Shiro Takatani
Performers: Misako Yabuuchi, Yuko Hirai, Olivier Balzarini, Alfred Birnbaum
Music: Simon Fisher Turner, Takuya Minami, Marihiko Hara 

Lighting design: Yukiko Yoshimoto
Media authoring: Ken Furudate
Stage manager: Nobuaki Oshika
Technical director: Thomas Leblanc
Video and Sound technician: Satoshi Hama
Lighting technician: Kazuya Yoshida
Video and programming assistant: Ryo Shiraki
Conceptual collaboration: Hiromasa Tomari
Company manager: Yoko Takatani (dumb type office Ltd.)

Voices (in order of appearance): Paolino Accolla (Aristotle, Leonardo), Mark Robinson (Newton), Markus Thinnes (Goethe), Alfred Birnbaum (Wittgenstein, Jarman), U-zhaan (text: Misako Yabuuchi), Jasper Fisher Turner

Production: dumb type office Ltd. 
Co-production: Biwako Hall Center for the Performing Arts, Shiga (Japan)
Support: The Saison Foundation (grant for international collaboration project 2011-2013)

Production, tours: Epidemic - Richard Castelli, assisted by Chara Skiadelli,
Florence Berthaud, Claire Dugot

Inspired by Derek Jarman's Chroma, A Book of Colour [Century, 1993], with thanks to The Estate of Derek Jarman