Yamamoto and Opacity of Performance cast during rehearsals, September 2021.
Yamamoto and Opacity of Performance cast during rehearsals, September 2021.

Opacity of Performance: Takahiro Yamamoto

Jan 28, 2022 – Feb 12, 2022

January 28-30, February 4–6, and February 11–12

Portland-based choreographer and artist Takahiro Yamamoto’s new collaborative dance installation Opacity of Performance investigates the physical and emotional effects that both dancers and viewers undergo when visibility, activity, and attention vary over an extended duration. 

In the Portland Art Museum’s Laura & Roger Meier Family Gallery of European art, viewers will encounter three performance areas divided by three movable curtains, which dancers will move to obscure, reveal, and shape viewers’ experiences of the solo performances coexisting in these distinct spaces. Yamamoto’s choreography centers states of visibility and invisibility, created collaboratively with the performers. Both in design and movement, the durational performance explores the tension inherent to being seen, which both validates the performer’s subjectivity and objectifies the individual as a member of a specific group. Resisting such visibility counteracts society’s drive to control and empowers otherness in the face of cultural repression. 

Curated by Sara Krajewski, the Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art. Lead support provided by the Oregon Community Foundation’s Creative Heights Initiative with additional support from the Museum’s Art Gym Endowment. Creative development supported by MacDowell, lumber room, Henry Art Gallery, and Bogliasco Foundation.

The performers Intisar Abioto,Roland Dahwen, Nolan Hanson, Garrick Imatani, Sydney Jackson,  Irene June, Stephanie Schaaf, Emily Squires, and Takahiro Yamamoto will be on a rotational schedule. Thank you to Ben Evans as the project’s dramaturg.

About the Artist

Takahiro Yamamoto is an artist and choreographer based in Portland, Oregon (on the ancestral lands of Cowlitz, Clackamas and Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde). His artistic approach is relational and observational. Starting his conceptual investigations with questions—currently about the phenomenological effects of time, the mutability of identity, and the social/emotional implications of visibility—he often invites collaborators to bring their own perspectives into the creation. He has received support from Bogliasco Foundation, Oregon Community Foundation, MacDowell, National Performance Network, Japan Foundation, Regional Arts & Culture Council, Africa Contemporary Arts Consortium, danceWEB scholarship program, and others. His performance and visual art works have been presented at Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA); Diverseworks, Houston; Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati; the Henry Art Gallery, Seattle; and GoDown Arts Centre, Nairobi, among other venues. He co-directs the performance company madhause with Ben Evans and is part of the Portland-based support group Physical Education with Allie Hankins, keyon gaskin, and Lu Yim. Yamamoto holds an MFA in Visual Studies from the Pacific Northwest College of Art.