Mar 24 - Sep 3

You can choose where and how you travel. With whom also, and those you find along the way (although that takes a few twists and turns). But the memories you bring and the photos you take tell another story. And it is this story we’re about to tell. From Haleiwa to Biarritz A visual journey by Bernard Testemale A Photography Exhibition at RAW curated by João Vilela Geraldo
Think of Hawaii. Add the usual hotspots and hype about the wild nature, the surf and turf, the raw spirit of discovery, joy, adventure.Think again of Hawaii. Now add a French Photographer who took time (that old-style but so essential tool), and care to actually know the islands by walking, driving and going through them. Not as a visitor who buys the guide books, but as a guest who draws and writes notebooks. An observer, not an intruder. Think of Hawaii yet again. Now don’t add anything, just subtract, take away. Avoid the stereotypes, the adrenaline seekers, the fake adventurers and the odd-shots looking for some sort of paradise. Keep the rough, stripped to the bone and raw mountains, the unpaved roads, the dusty pit-stops, the flooded areas after a thunderstorm. And keep the people, the riders, the surfers who know how to make their boards, who fix their bikes with hands which grow strong and rough day by day. Barefoot, with sleepy eyes, salty hair, freckles. Keep the people. The wild, the tough, the tried and tested. The wounded by sand and sun. The happy to call it home. This is the Hawaii of Bernard Testemale and his incredible book The Big Wave Riders of Hawaii. Because his islands carry the big in their name and character, magic, mystery. Think of Hawaii. The one of the Irons brothers, Slater, Hamilton, the men and women who came before and will rise at dawn every day after.Think of the cold water, the sweat, the dust, the fresh pineapple eaten from the floor, not the can. Think of the bodies shaped by the elements, not by gyms, trainers, trends. Think of bikes and roads to roam free. That’s what Photography is made of. The roads less travelled, the maps crumbled by the elements, rough skin from the wind gusts. And it is this path, full of serendipity and chance, the luck of those who take risks and those who follow their instinct, the riders who roam empty beaches in Northern France and the surfers who follow the waves until the wee hours, the mechanics who fix motors dead to most but alive to the few, the board crafters who smooth the raw wood with bare hands that have felt frost bites, that make up all the slides. The photos we keep, print and save. The memories we choose to share. And the wave, that big one that got away (the bikes are safely at home).
Bernard Testemale

Bernard Testemale


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