April 27, 2018
September 16, 2018
Honolulu Museum of Art
Since 2014, social practice artist James Jack has been working closely with Sustʻāinable Molokaʻi, the Molokaʻi Arts Center, and community leaders including Walter Ritte and Malia Akutagawa to document stories pertaining to Molokaʻi’s land. Instead of using audio or video technology to record conversations, Jack created soil rubbings, with the permission of community members. As people shared stories about the land upon which they stood, Jack touched the dirt then rubbed his hand on a sheet of paper. Each soil rubbing becomes a window through which one can see the luminous complexities of a land where tensions have escalated over unsustainable land-use patterns over the past decade, resulting in the emergence of new initiatives based on sustainable, Hawaiian land-use practices that aim to realign the health and bounty of the Molokaʻi, its surrounding ocean, and its people.
This installation focuses on land not as a commodity to be bought and sold, but on the visceral relationship between Molokaʻi’s people and land. This three-year process has revealed that while the people of Molokaʻi may have different priorities, they all see the island’s potential tied to the soil. All soil removed for inclusion in Molokaʻi Window will be returned to the island.