Memorial for the Lost is the second part in a video trilogy that attempts to explore the notion of extinction from different angles through i.e. existential politics, humour, grief, performative actions and rituals. Set in a fictional forest landscape, Memorial for the Lost tells the stories of six individual non-humans that were the last before extinction, so called “endlings”. Weaving in and out of a healing process and narratives of lived lives, the video offers an elegy to those lost.
“We live in an age that has come to be known as the “sixth mass extinction” and according to researchers some 17,000 to 100,000 species die out each year. How do we mourn these species and how does it teach us to value better the life that remains? Memorial for the Lost is set in a fictional forest and tells the story of six individual animals, each one the last of their species. We meet Benjamin the Tasmanian tiger, Martha the passenger pigeon, Celia the Pyrenean ibex along with Celia’s cloned offspring, the Moho bird Kauaʻi ʻōʻō and Incas the Carolina parakeet: they all get a new lease of life in the artists’ film. The camera sweeps through the forest and focuses in turn on a female narrator and on poles brandishing fabric with printed archive pictures that embody the extinct animals. Singing bowls are placed on the fabrics and the sound conveys a tender healing process which becomes an appeal to take care of the planet. Hillside Projects places death and loss at the centre of the film, but at the same time wishes to demonstrate humankind’s ability to learn and heal wounds.”
-Caroline Elgh Klingborg, Bonniers Konsthall
Memorial for the Lost, 2021 can currently be viewed online at Bonniers Konsthall:
Script and direction: Hillside Projects (Emily Berry Mennerdahl & Jonas Böttern) Camera: Giorgos Chloros Edit: Jonas Böttern Sound: Jonas Böttern Sound mix: Vilhelm Gustafsson