USA – Hawaii -Following the experiences and events of the active volcanoes
of Mount Ruhapehu and White Island, on and off the coast of
New Zealand, which left a great impression on me, I then wanted
to experience the one place on earth from which flows a lava
stream with a constant temperture of 1200 degrees, is burning
red, meandering and appears as if brought to life.
Not without their dangers were my treks through the lava flows
near the slope of Puh Ooo, a secondary crater on the mighty
Mount Kilauea, there where the ground becomes increasingly
unstable and hot and well away from the tourist paths, located
at a respectable distance.
Captivated for hours on end by the threatening beauty. At
night, picking my way back through infernal burning and smoking
lava flows, using only a head lamp. Alone with myself and,
when seen in the context of this scenario, small and seemingly
trivial humanity. Magnificent backdrops, far removed from all
vegetation and yet, at the same time, anything but lifeless.
Breathtaking beauty which forces humility, and yet, enormous
destructive power. Materiality, which coincided little with common
experiences and knowledge of material properties. Smooth
surfaces, gleaming like metal, and giving the illusion of a steellike
hardness, which, when stepped upon, collapses, crunching
like puff pastry. Then again porous, soft and sponge-like parts,
with quite the opposite resilience.
Striking against this – the clearest ringing of bells.
Razor-sharp, metre-high, strange, towering solidifications, which,
grown cold, was only vertically able to avoid the powerfully
advancing lava flow. Stone sculptures with stories to tell, once
flowing, and both absorbing and destroying all that was organic.
But again, the opposite.
The red-hot mouth of the crater, spewing forth lava, appears as
the personification of the child-bearing female, of she who gives
life through suffering, taking place here, where all is far beyond
any human conception of size.
The wounded earth´s surface, out of which comes, like blood,
living lava, powerful and red-hot. Then, like a snake-like creature,
which, winding its way, chooses the most convenient path.
Somewhere, slowed down by a barrier of earlier movement,
solidified into stone, only to break through again at another
point and carry on the path originally commenced.
The ambivalence of life, which cannot be resolved into equal
amounts of terrible and beautiful. Futile attempt to resolve the
apparent contradiction in our need for harmony.
Frank Rödel, 2005