Andy Behrle has a day-old hospital bracelet clipped around his wrist when I meet him for coffee. It’s evidence that the artist has collaborated on not just one, but two major acts of creation over the weekend. Undoubtedly still caught in the whirlwind of an eventful three days, Behrle is bright-eyed and effusive when he speaks.
I sit and notice him gazing toward his phone at a photo of his swaddled baby’s scrunched-up, newborn face. His second son, just over 24 hours old, and his wife are about to be released from the hospital at any time, Behrle says, touching down to the present moment from his rapturous admiration. His gaze is deep, and not unlike that which the public cast on his other, more ephemeral creation days prior when it emerged during Wailuku’s September First Friday on the side of the Iao Theater, just a few buildings over from where we sit.
This recent creation, a work of art called “lost and found,” is a digital reimagination of the stained glass windows that once adorned Saint Anthony’s Church in Wailuku, before the structure was lost to arson in 1977. In an installation that was billed as a “one-night only” event, Behrle’s work was projected onto the side of the Iao Theater for three hours for passersby to observe, transforming Kipuka Square (the area between the police substation and the theater) into a sort of open cathedral and contemplative space. Like moments of contemplation and like water, the projection ebbs and flows – literally – as steady examination reveals the panels of the resurrected stained glass to be moving, living, close-up images of water. Starting in black and white, the Gothic skeleton of the lost window fills with color before returning to the shades of grey and swelling with color once again. There are four different compositions, each with six videos of water “painting” the recreated stained glass.
Behrle took some-75 videos with three different cameras for the project, capturing moments of water in different forms, colors, shades and light, mauka to makai, up and down the Wailuku River. “These little moments, these little fractions of moments in nature, feel universal – the water runs like this, right?” Behrle says. “But every frame and every picture is unique. Always has been and always will be, even if you visit the same river, the same beach, day after day after day – there’s something new there.”
The way these videos come together to form “lost and found” is like our memory and personal stories, he explains. We’re filters of moments and information that come together to form who we are. “That’s how the artwork is born,” Behrle says... (READ MORE)