These images were made in collaboration with Marley Aiu on the mountain of Mauna a Wākea on Hawai’i Island, where bodies are currently gathered to defend a sacred space from the construction of an enormous telescope. The movement of the fog, the clouds, the nene goose, the stars across the sky, remind us of the ever-changing forces that represent our relationships to the land that are in immediate and constant danger.
While the camera struggles to trace the moving body in the dark, during the day the movement of a people is clear, photographable, capturable, Kanaka Maoli rising to protect their rights to land, water, and spirituality. These are the images that are shareable, likeable, move quickly across screens and the globe. But at night, while the protectors of the mauna rest in their cars or in their tents, the threat of a police raid or of the National Guard knocking on the fogged-out window is staid by the movement of a dancer, a single body in motion, of spirit. If this body is the mauna, this place is our body.
If we are to take the consideration of “the human condition” in this exhibition to heart, we believe that our images, combined with Marley’s poem, speak to the continued life-force of the movement of a people and a place. On Hawai’i Island, where new land is being generated by volcanic eruption, the same land being commodified by foreign hoteliers and so desired by the US military, we see the movement in the lava and in the land as representative of the human condition of resilience and constant creation. If our bodies can move, so does the earth. These movements for ecological and cultural survival define our contemporary existence as individuals and as a whole. We move together.
Featured in Summer 2019 Open Call: Movement at Latitude Chicago.
Poem by Marley Aiu