Aaron Katzeman is a recent graduate of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s Department of Art and Art History with a specific interest in the intersection between art and the environment. He has recently begun using his personal experience with certain areas as a catalyst to question the role humans play in manufacturing landscapes.
As a runner, Katzeman has frequented the Tantalus area near campus on an almost daily basis for the past three years. Tantalus Trip: Respect the Rain Forest, a critical photo-based exhibition, is the result of years of research and interaction with Tantalus’ trails, people, and plants.
Although Tantalus Trip is an attempt to bring awareness to a specific location through personal encounter, it still strives to acknowledge the combined varied groups of people who have shaped and created how the mountain exists and is interpreted.
The exhibition is meant to serve as a semi-satirical nature tour, pointing out ways humans have altered and conditioned how we interact with place while also suggesting that small snapshots are often indirectly interrelated with larger issues. Taking on a documentary-like chronology in its layout, each photo will be displayed in a position roughly correlated to where it was taken on the mountain. Viewers will be provided an informational pamphlet to help lead them through the exhibition.
Proceeds from the show benefit the Mānoa Cliff Restoration Project and their efforts to replant a native forest on Tantalus. Since 2005, volunteers have dedicated countless hours toward removing invasive species within a fenced six acre plot of land. They have made considerable improvements in rebuilding sections of the forest into a nearly fully pre-contact landscape. The group has public volunteer opportunities every Sunday.
Tantalus Trip: Respect the Rain Forest opens at 1170 Auahi Street on Friday July 27th from 6-9 PM. The exhibition runs through August 17th.
Stop by and take your own trip.
Photos from the install and opening below: