WATCH: Hana Pera Aoake, a euology to love
Date 30 August 2021 Words Hana Pera Aoake Video Courtesy of the artist
Hana Pera Aoake, a euology to love, 2019, digital video..
A eulogy to love was a poem written on and off in 2019 as a meditation on ways of learning about the self, love, fear, opening yourself up to new experiences, learning to love and accept your body, learning from mistakes, and the sharp pain of long distances and time zones. It was written in Lisbon and slowly became a film.
After watching Michelangelo Antonioni’s Red Desert (1964) after an abortion, I felt much like Monica Vitti’s character Giuliana, who hasn’t quite regained her composure or sense of self after a monthlong hospital stay following a suicide attempt. The film is set in the backdrop of a highly industrialised and polluted landscape of roaring machines, her face throughout is filled with blank dread and it’s very much a horror movie. Her psyche seems to slowly disintegrate as the film progresses. In a catatonic space I started making a eulogy to love into a film after watching Red Desert and wanting to give more depth to Vitti’s Giuliana beyond her simply suffering.
The film I made is more of a collage where I collected intimate moments captured on an iPhone and filmed in Seoul, Waanaka, Rangipo desert, Milan, Rome, Lisbon, Taupiri, Kerikeri, Te Whanganui-a-Tara and Taamaki Makaurau. I wanted to show a discombobulated series of memories of places and times I longed for to highlight the alienation I felt and collapse any sense of narrative or time. It’s very much about disorientation, the tension between how we remember and what really happened and overcoming despair. The sound shutters in and out in a happy accident, but I think adds to the texture of how we remember events and the detachment we can feel to our bodies.