INUNDATION refers to both the watery disasters of climate change and the overwhelming emotions they evoke. The layered meaning of the term offers a way to reflect on the work of the nine contemporary artists in this exhibition. Based in the Pacific, they all experience the climate emergency not just as a dramatic new reality, but also as the accumulation of long-term colonial, extractive and development forces that have made their communities especially vulnerable.
With communities forcibly displaced by sea-level rise and storms, islands bombed, coral reefs mined, and local and indigenous environmental knowledge lost, resiliency seems difficult to imagine. And yet, communities around the Pacific are responding first and foremost by offering compelling images of our relationship to water and to the climate.
The aesthetics of water is a dominant feature in the art of INUNDATION. The experience of being surrounded by water, the experience of wading in lo’i kalo of being moved by ocean currents, shifted in its tides—and thriving—can open new conversations about what inundation means.
Media spotlight on Inundation:
HPR's planet808 series on inundation: featuring Jaimey Faris and Kealoha Fox
Chip Fletcher and Jaimey Hamilton Faris in Jan. 10 edition of Civil Beat