Para todos, para nadie, 2014
Proyecto HAWAPI, Montaña Pariacaca, Perú
In 2014 HAWAPI took place at the foot of Pariacaca — a large tropical glacier located in Peru’s central Andes. The city of Lima—which has a population of over 8 million and is the second biggest desert city in the world—relies entirely on glacial run off from the Pariacaca mountain range for all of its fresh water needs. Tropical glaciers show rapid response to changing climate patterns and so are severely threatened by a rise in global temperatures.
For this edition of the event, HAWAPI—in coordination with local llama herders, set up an isolated base camp at an elevation of 4,400 meters above sea level. All the equipment, tools, materials and supplies needed during the residency were carried to the base camp on foot and llamas.
The subsequent exhibition was held at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Lima (MAC) and coincided with the 20th yearly session of the Conference of Parties (COP) to the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention of Climate Change (UNFCCC), which was held in Lima in December 2014. In conjunction with the exhibition HAWAPI presented a 150 page publication which documented in text and images, the works produced at Pariacaca.
Excerpts from a conversation between Maxim and Ishmael during HAWAPI
When I first started thinking about HAWAPI and what I would do at this elevation and what I would do confronted with the Apu, I decided on three major ideas to investigate.
The first project involved caving a seat or ‘ushnu’ out of the living rock that looks towards the glacier. This is a project that I have wanted to do for a long time. What interests me about the idea of an ushnu is that there’s specificity in the carving of a seat that makes the place happen. That makes the site happen. Although we can, quite literally, sit any- where; by carving a seat and creating that site, we reference the individual as well as the landscape. Beyond that, I also wanted to reference the long history from Inca times to the present day with relationship to what they considered the gods and what we consider our water source.
Ushnus are found all throughout Peru, but there are many in the Cusco region where I grew up. Some seem very random but the ones that I like the most are very specific in relation to the solstice of the equinox, or in relation to the Apus. The ushnis around Cusco tend to sit on the seques coming out of Cusco, which are sacred lines that the Incas spent a lot of time contemplating and preserving, whether in a very literal form or a more abstract way. This project of carving stone seats, which is the first of what I hope will be many carved seats, is in a way related to creating my own system of se- ques, or my own system of lines that come out of my place of origin... or the one that I’m searching for. It’s a way to try and place myself in relationship to the world, in this landscape.
The second piece was an intervention of the water itself. I wanted to use gutters to create canals in order to divert the water and slightly alter natural landscape. By doing so, I hope to address, not just the villages that use this water terms of resources, but also the lack of these same resources as well as the fact that nature will endure whether we are part of it or not.