THE OBITUARY PROJECT

American artist Hope Tucker reframes the passing of sites, people, communities, freedoms, cultural markers, rituals, and ways of being. Since 2000, as director of The Obituary Project, a compendium of works that transform a daily narrative form and the antiquated documentary practice of salvage ethnography, she has documented shuttered bread factories, contested monuments, and fallen witness trees; animated cyanotypes of downwinders and old instructions for making fishing nets by hand; written the entire text of a video out of paper clips, a Norwegian symbol of nonviolent resistance; retraced the path of protest that closed the only nuclear power plant in Austria; recorded mobile phone footage of the last public phone booths in Finland; and preserved reckonings made by travelers to the site of the first detonation of an atomic bomb. 


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The Sea [is still] Around Us

4 minutes
US
2012

A postcard usually enhances the reality. The contrast is more stark in Corinna, Maine, a former woolen mill town on the shores of Lake Sebasticook, where years of dumping of industrial waste contaminated the water supply. In 1964, E.B. White mourned his fellow Mainer Rachel Carson and the altered ecology of Sebasticook. Rachel Carson is dead, but the sea is still around us. This small lake is a sad reminder of what is taking place, in some degree, all over the land, from carelessness, shortsightedness, and arrogance. It is our pool of shame in this, 'our particular instant of time.' Carson’s work mobilized the public and led to the formation of the US Environmental Protection Agency. Yet local people continued to seek regulation and revival of Sebasticook for twenty more years before the EPA began cleaning up Corinna. 



The Sea [is still] Around Us premiered opening night of the 50th Ann Arbor Film Festival and was included in the 2012-2013 festival tour. It received Best of Festival from Iowa City Docs (2013); a Director’s Citation from Black Maria (2013); the Troubled Water award from Chicago Underground (2013); and Best Experimental and Best Doc from Delta International (2014). Additional screenings include Aegean Project Space, Agia Paraskevi, Greece (2016); Amherst Cinema, Massachusetts (2015); Antimatter, Victoria, BC Canada (2012); Artists’ Television Access, San Francisco, US, (2017, 2015); Athens International, Ohio, US (2013); Best of Chicago Underground (2020); Bienal de la Imagen en Movimiento, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2014); Cairo Video Fest, Egypt (2013); Camden International, Maine, US (2013); Currents New Media Festival, New Mexico, US (2014); Fargo Film Festival, US (2013); Flatpack Festival, Birmingham, UK (2013); Flahertania International Documentary Film Festival, Perm, Russia (2015); FLEX, Gainesville, US (2013); Kassel Dokfest, Germany (2012); Maine International, US (2013); Metakino #2 Environment, Helsinki, Finland (2019); Museo Nazionale del Cinema, Torino, Italy (2013); Open City Docs Fest, London, UK (2013); Rural Route Festival and Tour (2014-2015); Seattle International, US (2013); St. Louis International, US (2013).