17 September 2014

Black Elk

Now open at LEA1 is Black Elk, an installation by Livio Oak Korobase that is both an homage to the Sioux medicine man of the same name, and an invitation to visitors to absorb Black Elk's messages about peace, not only among humans but also between humans and the planet. "I hope they will think a bit about life," Livio told me as we drummed away on the supplied percussion in the sky nest overhead, adding that he suspects if someone drums for five hours then he or she might have a vision.

And it was a series of great visions for which Black Elk (1863 – 1950) became known: at the age of nine, during a serious illness, he experienced powerful visions that were accepted with profundity by his own people, and also by the likes of mythologist Joseph Campbell. Horses, prolific in the installation, "are the main symbol in the Black Elk vision," Livio explains, and other elements are also symbolic, although possibly not directly related to Black Elk, such as the Kokopelli, the figures over the drums who are playing flutes. "They are magical," Livio says.

You'll arrive on the ground level, and there's plenty to explore down there, including quotes by Black Elk (and John F. Kennedy, who Livio points out also talked about peace). "In these days of war, I thought it was a good idea to remember," he told me. Two teleports at the landing point will take you up to other locations, and you can also explore by rezzing a horse. And if you've got sharp eyes, you might notice a playful reminder of Livio's previous LEA build standing in a corner.

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