Serpent-like water hoses weave through the vegetal undergrowth of the forest and cling to branches, bringing water from its source to distant households. Decentralized and anarchic, the entangled black tubes symbolize the quest for clean drinking water. Words of gratitude are murmured. Water flows: gushing from the mountain like a waterfall or tamed to a constant trickle from the tap. Starting from the ruins of an ancestral site in Mexico where water was collected and channeled, we trace the ebb and flow of the water to Austria, where mountains yield a seemingly endless supply of fresh spring water for the city of Vienna. Words of gratitude are murmured.
Featuring new textile and video works, Divine Presence is an installation that forms part of The School of Mountains and Water and is related to the fifth volume of research on Endangered Human Movements entitled Climatic Dances. The work deals with how we can understand mountains as living bodies that are central to the re-creation of water as life, and shares First Nations’ understandings of water as sacred and sentient, revered and acknowledged through ritual practice.
Coming from extractivist contexts like Chile and Mexico, where desertification and water scarcity caused by Capitalocene-induced climate change are already a reality, artist Amanda Piña proposes to refresh our experience of and relation to water through works in different media aimed at re-awakening ancestral knowledge and memory.
The installation was curated by DACE – Dance Art Critical Ecology, Rickard Borgström, and Rebecca Chentinell, and will be first presented at Boden Havremagasinet Länskonsthall (Sweden) in April 2022. The works were developed in Mexico (Las Pilas) and Austria (Kaiserbrunn), initiating a dialogue between two different, seemingly unrelated geographies.
Supported by the Municipal Department of Cultural Affairs, Vienna.