For me the most profound part of that weekend was sitting in the park across from the White House observing the annual moment of silence concurrent with the people of Hiroshima at exactly the time, their time, the bomb had fallen..
That moment has been surpassed by this year’s installation, Suspended Moment. It’s the first time I’ve attended an installation enacted and not just one in a museum with a continual loop video. The artist, a third generation Hiroshima survivor, made a sculpture, a cloth version, to size, of Fat Man, the Nagasaki bomb. She made it from silk from her grandmother’s kimono studio and stitched her hair into it to meld the generations.
The installation, lasted half an hour. The action was a poem read at the beginning and end that consisted of words from Obama’s speech at Hiroshima. Single words. First in English then in Japanese, as chanted dialog, each word repeated several times. The two walking toward each other, then together, then apart. “Mirror.” “Suffering.” “We look.” “We survive,” “We survive fear.” (I don’t remember them all.) In between a butoh dance (somewhat like mime). In the Q and A afterwards, the choreographer said he’d aimed to create moments rather than a narrative, moments like combing hair, putting on lipstick. And there were more obvious moments of fear.