Eiko Otake & Joan Jonas – Danspace Project
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Eiko Otake & Joan Jonas

Eiko Otake, NYC, March 2021. Photo: Ian Douglas. Joan Jonas. Photo: Toby Coulson.

Film premiere: Friday, June 11 at 5pm (ET) via Zoom
The premiere will be followed by a live discussion.

Part of PLATFORM 2021: The Dream of the Audience

Eiko Otake and Joan Jonas present a new short video work created while in-residence at Danspace’s historic venue in St. Mark’s Church.

During her Platform 2021 residency at Danspace Project, movement-based, interdisciplinary artist, Eiko Otake will be working on a new film collaboration with performance and video pioneer, Joan Jonas. In an unprecedented turn, Otake has invited Jonas to be the first artist to ever direct her in a performance, which will be filmed in Danspace’s sanctuary at St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery.

In recent years Otake and Jonas have formed a collaborative friendship (discussed in detail in their 2020 Conversation Without Walls). Both artists create work that engages deeply with its site and experiments with viewership; how the work is experienced and how the viewer experiences themselves within it.

After working for more than 40 years as Eiko & Koma, in 2014, Otake began performing her own solo project A Body in Places, through which she has been exploring the relationship of a fragile human body to the myriad intrinsic traits that are contained by a specific place. Platform 2016: A Body in Places was co-curated by Otake, Judy Hussie-Taylor, and Lydia Bell. It illuminated and expanded Otake’s solo project with readings, durational installations, and daily solo performances by Otake in locations all over NYC’s East Village, home to Danspace Project. Jonas premiered her acclaimed immersive performance work, Moving Off the Land at Danspace Project in 2018.

View the program

This film premieres June 11, 2021, and will be available for viewing on our Journal from July 1-Aug 31.

Watch the film here. 

Accessibility: CART live captioning will be provided for all film screenings and conversations. A phone number will be provided so that the Zoom chat may be accessed audibly. Requests, questions, or feedback can be submitted to seta@danspaceproject.org.

Born and raised in Japan and a resident of New York since 1976, Eiko Otake is a movement-based, interdisciplinary artist. After working for more than 40 years as Eiko & Koma, in 2014 Eiko began performing her own solo project A Body in Places, which was also the title of her 2016 Platform.


Since 2014, Eiko collaborated with photographer William Johnston on creating A Body in Fukushima that documents places of nuclear contamination. Eiko has presented both photo exhibitions and film screenings of A Body in Fukushima internationally at museums, art centers, and conferences on environmental disasters. 


In 2017, she launched a multi-year Duet Project, an open-ended series of cross-disciplinary, cross-cultural, and cross-generational experiments with a diverse range of artists both living and dead. In addition to creating her works in her Virtual Studio during the pandemic, Eiko performed live for audiences at the Green-Wood Cemetery and in Tokyo.


Eiko & Koma have been honored with a MacArthur Fellowship, the Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award, and the first Doris Duke Artist Award. For her solo work, Eiko has received a Bessie’s Special Citation, an Art Matters fellowship, the Anonymous Was a Woman Award, and the Sam Miller Award for Performing Arts.

Joan Jonas is a world-renowned artist whose work encompasses a wide range of media including video, performance, installation, sound, text, and sculpture. Joan’s experiments and productions in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s continue to be crucial to the development of many contemporary art genres, from performance and video to conceptual art and theatre. Since 1968, her practice has explored ways of seeing, the rhythms of rituals, and the authority of objects and gestures. Joan has exhibited, screened, and performed her work at museums, galleries, and in large scale group exhibitions throughout the world. She has recently presented solo exhibitions at Hangar Bicocca, Milan; NTU Centre for Contemporary Art, Singapore; the United States Pavilion for the 56th edition of the Venice Biennial; Tate Modern, London; TBA21 Ocean Space at the San Lorenzo Church, Venice; and Serralves Museum, Porto. In 2018, she was awarded the prestigious Kyoto Prize, presented to those who have contributed significantly to the scientific, cultural, and spiritual betterment of mankind.

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