Hanae Utamura


Ontology of Performance: Falls of Niagara





“Ontology of Performance: Falls of Niagara“ is part of the long-term curatorial project 'Dragonfly'

by SOMA Art Space Berlin and is generously supported by Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa Berlin. (Senate Department for Culture and Europe Berlin).





Ontology of Performance: Falls of Niagara




“Some things can be done as well as others” - Sam Patch’s slogan in 1829



Niagara Falls, one of the great wonders of nature, has been both the subject and dumping ground of our desire and fascination. Sam Patch, the professional waterfall jumper, plunged twice into Niagara Falls in the autumn of 1829 before grand audiences, and famously remarked about his aspirations, “some things can be done as well as others.” These words became a popular slogan around the nation.  


Nikola Tesla also had dreams of engaging the power of the falling water, transforming the Falls into the first major hydro-electricity power plant in the world in 1888. Later, after WWII, nuclear waste from the Manhattan Project was dumped around the site of Niagara. The current Niagara is no longer just the natural world, but a fusion of the forces of humanity and nature. 


The jump is an act of will, that permeates history, time, and space, and an act of being one with God and the Sublime. The rising mist between the falling water and the river below is a grey boundary between the known and unknown, seen and unseen, graspable and ungraspable, mystery and danger. As we experience God, the Falls disappear.


The jump – a symbolic action, an act of self-devotion and self-sacrifice, a leap of faith, an action of conquering and being conquered. The Falls themselves are a disappearing being – eroding away at one foot per year. In Niagara, time is suspended at its vanishing point, and action harnesses the hidden power between the will and the sublime.




Hanae Utamura (Ibaraki, Japan) graduated from Goldsmiths College (2004, BA) and Chelsea College of Art and Design (2010, MA) in London. 


The negotiation between nature and civilization, and how life manifests itself has been a central focus of her practice. 


A fellowship in visual art at Akademie Schloss Solitude originally brought her to Germany in 2014. She continued her stay in Germany with a residency at Künstlerhaus Bethanien, in Berlin, supported by the Pola Art Foundation. 


She has recently received the Shiseido Art Egg Award (2018 / Japan), and plans to have a solo show at the Shiseido Gallery in Tokyo in August.


“Ontology of Performance: Falls of Niagara“ is part of the long-term curatorial project 'Dragonfly' by SOMA Art Space Berlin and is generously supported by Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa Berlin.



Performance 19:00-22:00 20.April FRIDAY 2018

23.04-02.05 2018 16:00-18:00 Only by Appointment





Nabi Nara


Free entrance










“Non-Sense Music II; Borders”


“Non-Sense Music II; Borders” “Non-Sense Music II; Borders”

11 - 20 MAY 2018

Kunstquatier Bethanien | Mariannenplatz 2

Opening 11. MAY 18:00 - 22:00

“Non-Sense Music II; Borders”



This project explores the politics of space through the micro-history of

six Korean artists. Nahoon Park, Soyoung Chung, Hayoon Kwon, Ryu

Biho , Helena Parada Kim and KIM Hwang transform the circumstances

and conditions of specific time and space into songs as an aesthetic

device: non-sense music. These works nurture the very habits of mind —

empathy, irony and acceptance of the shared humanity— that push back

against the politics of fear and resentment of space.

The project is supported by Korean Arts Management Service and

Koreanisches Kulturzentrum Berlin.


Curator : Juwon Kim


Programm Partner :

SOMA ART SPACE BERLIN | Director : Nabi Nara


The exhibition will take place in Bethanien / Mariannenplatz in Kreuzberg.

'Performance Unlimited'

Berlin Art Week |

Sep.- Oct. 2018

'Intimacies and Imagined Fictions'

video & performance practices


Symposium, Talks, Conference, Exhibition


GAX is an international scholarly exchange that brings together curators, scholars, and artists on multi-year collaborations. GAX 2018 will take place in London from June 13-19 and conclude in Berlin from June 19-24, 2018.

The exhibition is titled “Intimacies and Imagined Fictions” featuring Asian diasporic video and performance practices.



NYU Global Asia/Pacific Art Exchange





Co-Curators : Nabi Nara, Alexandra Chang and Francesca Tarocco

' Dragonfly'


7 Artists' Serial Solo Exhibition Program |

Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa Berlin.

01. March - 30. June 2018Kultur und Europa Berlin.


' Dragonfly' is the long-term curatorial project and is generously supported by Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa Berlin.


Artist : Kai Oshima, Indrani Ashe, Hye Young Kim,

Christine Cheung, Hanae Utamura, Hye Ja Kim, Nina Hong


Curator : Nabi Nara








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