The making of this short film ‘Echo at Satsop’ began with director/producer Ichikawa’s response to the triple disaster that occurred in her home country of Japan on March 11, 2011, when a magnitude 9.0 earthquake hit the country, causing a massive tsunami that led to the collapse of the Fukushima nuclear power plant. Tragically, due to ongoing radiation leakage, it’s devastating impact on the people and environment around it will continue for years to come.
Prompted by the tragedies, Ichikawa and her crew were granted access to the abandoned Satsop nuclear facility in southern Washington (in the U.S.) where they captured all of the video and sound used in the making of this film. Ichikawa was inspired by the emotional juxtaposition between ethereality and fear that she experienced while being in the cooling tower, as well as by the amazing acoustic property of the space. The sound created by simply clapping hands becomes an emotional experience within the tower where Ichikawa’s act of prayer and purification are captured.
©2013 ETSUKO ICHIKAWA
This film received the grand prize from Dave Bown Projects in 2016.
Quotes from the jurors:
"The work that most stood out to me in this group of submissions was Etsuko Ichikawa's video Echo at Satsop. With the decommissioned Satsop nuclear facility as a powerful stage set and protagonist, Ichikawa creates stunning visuals that evoke a haunting mix of fear and poetry."
— Irene Hofmann, Director and Chief Curator, SITE Santa Fe
“Equal parts performance documentation and otherworldly cinematic experience the mesmerizing video Echo at Satsop by Etsuko Ichikawa reveals the dramatic potential of a simple gesture made in an extraordinary setting. I was not only struck by the professional and creative cinematography, but also by the powerful soundtrack. Nearly every shot would make a compelling still image; the meditative sound could also stand alone. Both contribute to a sense that this clearly real place could be on earth or elsewhere — in the past, present, or far-off future.”
— Al Miner, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Producer and Director
JACK STRAW PRODUCTIONS
Special Thanks To
MAYUMI TERAO POTTER