PerformancesAngel of History (Angeles Novus)

Solo performance
Concept, Visuals, Video, Choreography, Performance by Miho Tsujii

People send paper cranes to Hiroshima from all over the world in prayers to this day.
 I was struck by this unceasing gesture.
 The thoughts that people pour onto paper cranes are at one.
A woman starts to tell a story as she folds a giant paper crane. The performance unfolds in communication with the audience. What scars did the ”war” leave to people? Have they been healed over time? Or have they spread in the deep layers of people’s minds through family threads? When the woman blows a deep breath into the crane, what liberates into the sky?

This piece was conceived out of the impact of WWII that the artist recognized in herself, as a carry-over from her grandfather to her father and onto herself. She also found a similarity between a German grandfather she lived with while growing up in Germany and her own grandfather in Japan. The silence and the pain trapped in hardness poured out. The need to embrace the wounds on the perpetrator’s side of war also inspired the creation of the Angel of History.
Silence over war is particularly overwhelming among women. The Angel of History also sheds light on their silence and voices.

Angeles Novus is Paul Klee’s self-portrait of his survival of the front line in WWI. Walter Benjamin sought the figure of an angel of history staring at the destruction out of this painting. This performance reinterprets the angel of history as a female figure with new perspectives.

Every time the artist performs the piece, she finds that the audience starts to share their stories from varying perspectives. The power of sympathy and embracing release can dismantle lines between victim/perpetrator and between generations, cultures, etc. Perhaps cranes start to fly as the weight lifts through the folding of papers in prayer.


 巨大な鶴を折りながら語リ始める女。観客と対話をしながら作品は創られていきます。 『戦争』は人間にどんな傷跡を残したのでしょうか?その傷は果たして時間と共に癒されたのでしょうか、それとも深く心の奥底に拡がり続けたのでしょうか?織り上げた鶴に息を吹き込む瞬間、何かが空に抜けるのでしょうか?

第一次世界大戦での自らの兵士体験を意識してパウル・クレーが描いた自画像『Angelus Novus』。そこにヴァルター・ベンヤミンが破壊をじっと見つめる「歴史の天使」を見出しました。本作では天使を女性に置き換え、新たな解釈を描きます。


Mies van der Rohe Haus/ベルリン/2018
One Art Space /ニューヨーク市/2014
Arts Connect International/ボストン/2014
ジェームズマディソン大学/バージニア州/2014 他

Mies van der Rohe Haus/Berlin/2018
Share Okusawa/Tokyo/2015
One Art Space /New York/2014
Arts Connect International/Boston/2014
James Madison University/Virginia/2014 and more

© Miho Tsujii all rights reserved.