A rising story at the Pacific Island Ethnic Art Museum, exploring the industrialization of time that has characterized work and rest as opposing forces. Industry values rest as a tool to improve productivity and efficiency, giving rise to a self-care industry that commercializes rest as an individual practice. Our ancestors were children of the ocean and islands, how did they understand what it is to work and rest in community?
Rest in the intergenerational conversations between Pacific Indigenous ancestor pieces, lands, ocean, and artists living in the diaspora. Expect shifts, moving within the space as we enter moon phases, growing to fullness toward a Living Handbook.
This is a story that follows the moon, shifting and changing in phases over several months as it grows to fullness. As the exhibit rises, visitors and community members contribute to the Living Handbook through on-site interactions and Community Offerings.
After the PIEAM phase of Te ‘Iti Nei Te Marama concluded, community responses were gathered into an ebook to guide ongoing reflection processes to support our collective and individual wellbeing.
Part of my contribution to the exhibit and handbook are a series of ancestor piece* portraits made in the light of the full moon. These portraits were informed by time spent with the waters of Mi’kma’ki; some of the photos feature in the handbook linked above.
The photographs are long exposures, playing with time and the way being lit by the moon paints a familiar world in an unfamiliar way. It looks like daylight, but also not quite. An invitation to pause, observe, and reconsider what we think the world must be like.
*What we call “ancestor piece” you might think of as an “artifact.” We use this term to honor the role and relationality of “things” in our Indigenous Pacific cultures.