I Invited Myself, Vol. 1

Eiko Otake Residency
Monday, January 31Saturday, February 05

January 31 through February 3 open to the SAIC Community ONLY
February 4 and February 5 open to the Public by appointment only. Eiko will host performative tours at 1 and 4pm.

"I’m trying to create a window in the gallery because that gallery is windowless. In the gallery, usually you put this on this wall, that on that wall—usually you try to make the focus good, the placement good. But what if I disturb that? I can shift the projector so the video breaks to the next room. The focus gets blurred. I can go into the projection. I’m using my being in the gallery to disrupt the gallery-ness."

- Eiko Otake, Interview with Irene Hsiao for the Chicago Reader. View the article here

Photo by Tatsuhiko Nakagawa.

From January 31 to February 5, 2022, movement-based interdisciplinary artist Eiko Otake will occupy one entire floor of the SAIC Galleries. Working closely with her co-curator Elise Butterfield, Eiko will use this rare access to gallery space, approximately 15,000 square ft, to explore new possibilities of her performance-based practice together with her media works.

Approaching 50 years as a working artist, Eiko has amassed a vast catalogue of video and film work. Her project at SAIC is an active inquiry into how she can share this trove of material moving forward. She will develop an exploratory and relational choreography of the gallery space, media works, her body now and past, and her viewers. Visitors will see her as a narrator, conversationalist, and performer, who from time to time, betrays or sabotages her own choreography.

During her 10 days in the public incubator of the gallery, Eiko will be present during all open hours. This experimental residency is in the spirit of her ongoing Duet Project: Distance is Malleable. In addition to the duet of co-curation, Eiko will duet with landscape, artist partners, and camera. Ultimately, Eiko's presence will be a dance with each viewer's gaze. 

Eiko’s project will be accessible to the SAIC community only from Monday, January 31 to Thursday, February 3, 2022. It will be open to the public on Friday, February 4 and Saturday, February 5, 2022. On those 2 days, Eiko will be hosting performative tours at 1 pm and 4 pm. To visit Eiko’s project during gallery hours, please make an appointment here.

This project is part of Eiko’s larger Duet Project, Distance is Malleable. Eiko will be performing live with selected collaborators of her Duet Project at the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago the week following this residency, with performances on February 11 and 12 at 7:30 pm. More information can be found at dance.colum.edu.

About Eiko Otake
Born and raised in Japan and a resident of New York since 1976, Eiko Otake is a movement artist who also creates media works. After working for more than forty years as part of Eiko & Koma, she began performing her solo project A Body in Places in 2014. In 2017, she launched a multi-year Duet Project that she directs and performs with a diverse range of artists. During her visit to Chicago, Eiko will be performing selections of the Duet Project at the Columbia College Dance Center, February 11–13, 2022.

After studying in Japan and Germany, Eiko & Koma created 46 interdisciplinary performance works and two career exhibitions, including one at MCA Chicago in 2011. Eiko & Koma’s durational performance living installations, was commissioned by the Whitney Museum, the Walker Art Center, and MoMA. Eiko & Koma were honored with the first United States Artists Fellowship (2006) and Doris Duke Artist Awards (2012). Additionally, they were the first collaborative pair to share a MacArthur Fellowship (1996).

Eiko’s solo project has produced many exhibitions, screenings, lectures, and performances, and brought her an Art Matters grant, and the Anonymous Was a Woman Award. In 2021 Eiko presented a new work in Chicago, They did not hesitate, commissioned by the Abakanowicz Foundation and the Institute for Curatorial Research and Practice at SAIC and curated by Elise Butterfield. Eiko regularly teaches at Wesleyan University, NYU, and Colorado College. She holds a Masters from NYU and received an honorary degree from Colorado College.

The presentation of Eiko Otake is made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts' National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This project was supported, in part, by a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant.