𝒎𝒂𝒚𝒂 𝒆𝒓𝒊𝒏 𝒎𝒂𝒔𝒖𝒅𝒂

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Pour Your Body Out (2023)

Material: powder milk, water, steel, silicone, pumps, etc.

Maya Erin Masuda is an artist whose work examines the relationship between technology and its relation to biopolitics through mediating queer theory and ecological entanglements. After a year of research into the genetic mutations and skin abnormalities of animals stranded in Chernobyl, the artist reconstructs the reality of geo-trauma introduced to the ecosystem by nuclear energy, through analysing the collective trauma inflicted in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.

In Chernobyl, where the nuclear accident occurred in 1986, 95.500 cows and 23.000 pigs were slaughtered due to the human fear of eating these animals [1], samely in Fukushima, all the animals that survived in the evacuation zone were ordered to be killed. At the same time, multiple testimonies show that the fear of internal and external exposure to invisible nuclear energy simultaneously led to divisions over reproduction and its bodily rights even among humans, including the emergence of institutionalised abortions [2].

In the aftermath of those two significant planetary traumas, what does the contemporary contracted nationalism in Japan mean for the queer artist herself? : The discourse that oppresses queer communities, controls the population through eugenics and promotes nuclear energy, while failing to acknowledge its risks to animal (inc. human) health posed by the very same technology.

Here, the artist imagines the work as a site where human / animal / planet / machine bodies equally converge, revealing aspects of human to human, human to animal, and human to planet domination through nuclear power and its attendant reproductive consequences, by generating violence of circulation and latency in within. The circulation of bodily fluids, neither ours nor those of animals or planets, welcomes questions around posthumanism, intimacy, pain, queerness and biopolitics in the foreseeable future.

[1] International Atomic Energy Agency, Environmental Consequences of the Chernobyl Accident and their Remediation: Twenty Years of Experience , ( INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY VIENNA, 2006)

[2] Sebastian Pflugbeil, Henrik Paulitz, Angelika Claussen, Inge Schmitz-Feuerhake, Health Effects of Chernobyl 25 years after the reactor catastrophe, (German Affiliate of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), 2011)


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