Memorial for the Lost
Duration: 20:11 min
About the film
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.
Hillside Projects (Emily Berry Mennerdahl and Jonas Böttern) are an artist duo who examine and chart the relationship between human and non-human. Using methods such as installation, performance and video, the main roles are played by plants and animals in an age of climate change and the mass extinction of species on Earth. Hillside Projects was founded in 2011. Emily Berry Mennerdahl (b. 1980) graduated with a BA (Hons) Photography from Manchester Metropolitan University in 2004 and has an MFA in Studio Arts from Concordia University Montréal in 2009. Jonas Böttern (b. 1977) graduated with an MFA from Konstfack in 2016.