Glenn Kaino, In the Light of a Shadow: MASS MoCA | North Adams, MA
Glenn Kaino: In the Light of a Shadow is inspired by the connection between protests across the globe, specifically those in response to the tragic events known as “Bloody Sunday” from Selma, Alabama and Derry, Northern Ireland. The exhibition spans the entirety of MASS MoCA’s signature football-field sized Building 5 gallery with an immersive installation that explores the power of collective action in forging a more just world.
The installation takes the form of a galaxy inside of which viewers will be immersed and surrounded by moving shadows and evocative soundscape. The theatrical space includes a representation of the Shadow V – a boat that was bombed by Northern Ireland’s IRA, killing the British royal Lord Mountbatten – crashing into itself. Surrounding the boat are thousands of rocks, hundreds of which become tiny satellite ships. From these objects floating in space, a complex shadow show plays out before our eyes, placing us in the footsteps of protests past. Also in the main gallery is a circular sculpture made of metal bars, which, when struck in sequence with a baton, play the melody from U2’s “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” transforming a barrier into a plea for violence, protest, and civil rights infractions to end. Alongside the sculpture will play a video that Kaino recorded with Deon Jones, an activist and singer who was brutalized by the police while protesting the murder of George Floyd. Made in collaboration with Larry Fong, Butch Vig, John Batiste, and Glenn Kotche, Jones and Kaino turn the classic song into a rallying cry for the present.
Ultimately, Kaino’s In the Light of a Shadow is about remembering the past and forging a hopeful path forward.
— Curatorial Text Courtesy of Mass MOCA