FROZEN HAWAII – NATURAL FASHION
The title of the project Frozen Hawaii/Natural Fashion refers to the largest piece of no man’s land left on Earth; Marie Byrd Land in West Antarctica, whose bedrock reminds of the geography of Hawaii. The area is changing fast caused by ice loss. What will happen to this unclaimed territory in the future when the ice has melted? Will Marie Byrd Land and The Pine Islands by it’s coast become a new surfers’ paradise like Hawaii and The Cold Hawaii in Northern Denmark? Today cruise ships are regularly visiting Antarctica promoted by slogans like ‘Explore the Great White Continent Untouched by Man’, though you could say that Antarctica is indeed touched by Man due to climate changes. This paradox leads to questions like: How can we relate to nature today knowing that the longing after the untouched wilderness is long gone? What is a tourist in this regard? What is exploration and adventurousness?
The works try to capture the future scenario using a “back to nature” approach drawing inspiration from the Suri tribe from the west side of the Omo River in the Omo Valley in the plains of south-western Ethiopia and it’s elaborately rituals. The tribe members use their skin as a surface to express themselves artistically painting their bodies with pigments made from powdered volcanic rock as well as making elaborate headwear of flowers, fruits, leaves, grasses, shells, feathers and animal horns.
Explorer Number 1 (I just want a simple life) is a self portrait staged at the last protected natural site in Copenhagen – Amager Fælled, which is under threat due to new urban planning strategies. I’m wearing a headbouquet of natural plants, some of which are seldom only living in areas like this like Quaking Grass, Cynosures, Fernleaf Dropwort, and Inula salicina, and carry a piece of cultivated nature in my hand: a piece of chopped wood as a symbolic weapon.
Explorer Number 2 is wearing a fox fur on the head instead of around the neck, which normally is the custom, twisting our conceptions of “natural” and “cultural” in relation to the surroundings. As an explorer you traditionally claim, conquer and posses. As a tourist you ‘sight-see’ at a distance. Is there another way to relate to our surroundings reaching beyond this dominance and distance? To inhabit and dwell? The parallel crystallizations of this work are attempts to let the motive dissolve into geometrical forms and through this crystallization to get closer to an understanding of nature as a wet zone of microbes.
Explorer Number 3 is inspired by extreme surfing in the frozen north of US. Floating on chunks of ice and surfing glacier waves created by falling ice: “waiting for the right direction of the glacier to fall down to actually create a wave.” – which might be ‘normal’ in the future as climate changes affect what is considered normal.(Inspired by photo of photographer Corey Wilson)
See a video about the vegetation on Amager Fælled here. (in Danish)
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