Extinction….remembered

Even if I wasn’t an avid fan of the Robinson Nature Center (and I am VERY much a fan!!) the movie that the Friends of the Robinson Nature Center are showing this weekend would get my attention.  The movie is “The Lost Birds” and will be shown Sunday afternoon from 2:30-4, as part of the Aldo Leopold weekend.  The tag line that got me is “Forgetting is another kind of extinction”.  Wow.  Yes, we do forget the things that have gone, and what it means to be extinct.  The description of the movie is below.  Attendance is $8, tickets can be purchased in advance at the Friends of the Robinson Nature Center website.

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Gone and nearly forgotten in extinction, the Labrador Duck, the Great Auk, the Heath Hen, the Carolina Parakeet, and the Passenger Pigeon leave holes not just in the North American landscape but in our collective memories. Moved by their stories, sculptor Todd McGrain set out to create memorials to the lost birds—to bring their vanished forms back into the world.  The Lost Bird Project follows the road-trip that McGrain and his brother-in-law, Andy Stern, take as they search for the locations where the birds were last seen in the wild and negotiate for permission to install McGrain’s large bronze sculptures there.

Traveling all the way from the tropical swamps of Florida to Martha’s Vineyard to the rocky coasts of Newfoundland over a period of two years, McGrain and Stern scout locations, talk to park rangers, speak at town meetings and battle bureaucracy in their effort to gather support for the project. McGrain’s aim in placing the sculptures is to give presence to the birds where they are now so starkly absent. “These birds are not commonly known,” he says, “and they ought to be, because forgetting is another kind of extinction. It’s such a thorough erasing.”

The Lost Bird Project is a film about public art, extinction and memory.  It is an elegy to five extinct North American birds and a thoughtful, moving, sometimes humorous look at the artist and his mission.

#HoCoBlogs

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