The work consists of a forty-minute film and a set of objects, including fossils and everyday tools. Every object has a tag indicating radiation dose levels. The film reveals that the objects have been removed from a museum in Futaba, Fukushima, where they were once part of a collection that the curator had developed over twenty years to represent the local community and its long history on the land. After the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident, the objects were evacuated from the museum located in the “difficult-to-return zone” to avoid radioactive contamination and biological damage, and have remained elsewhere to date. Fujii has been closely following the movements of these historical objects, while organizing visits to the site and hosting discursive events in order to bring to surface various socio-political issues that arise from the crisis of culture and history.
The film captures one such dialogue, held in the anatomy classroom of the National School of Fine Arts in Paris. The speakers, who have visited the museum with Fujii, ruminate on the experience of visiting the empty museum, sharing reflections on what they saw and questioning one another regarding how a catastrophe can be represented, and by who. They also probe the significance of cultural and philosophical practices—including the preservation of objects—in engaging with catastrophes in the past and the future while uncertainties continue to haunt the present.The work is at once a documentation of activities organized and filmed by Fujii and an extended platform to share the discourses and perspectives that emerged in the process, all intended to prompt the present audience to question how they perceive objects of catastrophe.