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Memorial for the Lost
BY
Hillside Projects (Artist group)

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 is the second part in a video trilogy in which Hillside Projects experiment with and explore notions surrounding extinction. The first installment was a series of existential questions (Again and Again We Ask These Questions, 2019) followed by an elegy to the lost (Memorial for the Lost, 2021). Hillside Projects are currently (2021) working on the concluding part exploring the extinctions we do not mourn such as children’s diseases, mosquitos and the dull looking. 

Aspect ratio 1,78:1 (16:9)
Prod. format
Duration 00:20:31
Language English
Color Color
Sound Stereo
Year 2021
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About the artist

Hillside Projects (Artist group)

Hillside Projects is an artist duo consisting of Emily Berry Mennerdahl & Jonas Böttern. Their multidisciplinary practice is manifested as installations and performances including video, text, drawing and artist publications. Prompted by current events in and around nature, they apply methods of storytelling and performative actions in a desire to talk about the stories of and between humans and non-humans, as well as notions of hope and despair, remorse and guilt. Living in the sixth mass extinction, the on-going extinction event of species, mainly as an event of human activity, Hillside Projects attempt to relay the tragedies, comedies and stories of the natural world and its inhabitants.

Single inquiries into the lives of disappearing birds, the re-introduction of species, commemorations to the lost and details from on-going extinctions are presented in a variety of formats and situations. Videos, lecture performances, public presentations and publications become intertwined and offer details from a larger story on ecological exploitation

Hillside Projects was formed in 2011, during a longer stay in India. Residing on the top of a hill in a small village in the south, conversations and daily excursions evolved into larger projects. Travel, movement and exchange have always been important elements for both artists and continues to be so within the collaboration. Music, alternative healing practices, writing, daily yoga practice and travel continue to inspire their work.

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