Sound of Sirens
Edgar Honetschläger
2012, 2020
Artist Statement
SOS is a collaboration with the Viennese artist Sylvia Eckermann. In 2012 we initiated an online streaming portal entitled Sound of Sirens (SOS), a video platform that asked people in Japan and around the world to upload videos on the subject of the FUKUSHIMA catastrophe. SOS used artistic methods to take stock of how a democratic society deals with an environmental disaster. Social changes and political motivations were examined and channeled in various forms of artistic expression. SOS focused on how the individual, the group, the government, the world community react to a sudden event of inconceivable dimension. 150 films were uploaded. Impressive material. We will revive the website next year juxtaposing it with contemporary voices 10 years after when 3.11. = the earthquake, the tsunami and the nuclear triple meltdown will ‘celebrate’ its sad anniversary.
One can say that I'm a Japanophile. After I left the islands I still visit the country annually and realize art and film projects there. Knowing about Japanese history, politics, the arts and literature I am aware of the dark side of Japan. Concerning Fukushima the Japanese government has done a great job. It is almost as if the radioactive catastrophe had never existed. For years now, the Japanese government has been resettling people in the core zone, regardless of the radiation, making people think everything is fine, while thousands still have to live in makeshift huts. The landscape - in one of the most fertile plains in Japan - is littered with millions of black plastic bags filled with contaminated earth piled up to hills and small mountains. Japan ain't just supreme aesthetics and good food. Cancer does not have a tag...
Artist Bio
Edgar Honetschläger, artist and filmmaker, spans a range from drawing all the way to feature films. His works have been invited by distinguished institutions like documenta X or film festivals like the Berlinale. He spent five years in the USA, 12 years in Japan, five years in Italy and a year in Brazil. 2006 Honetschläger established the EDOKO Institute in Vienna and the Ribo Ltd. Tokyo, 2018 the NGO He is currently based in Vienna and Rome.