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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What Travelers Are Saying About Jornada del Muerto

13:45 minutes
typeface: Souvenir
2021

Visitors and residents of the Tularosa Basin, site of the first detonation of an atomic bomb, contribute to the production of public memory as they offer logistical advice, philosophical reckonings, and plaintive texts about making "the journey of the dead." Between 1945 and 1992, the US federal government exposed people to the radioactive fallout from over 200+ detonations of above-ground nuclear weapons. Made in remembrance of the 75th anniversary of the detonation of nuclear weapons in the US and Japan and the 340th anniversary of the 1680 Pueblo Revolt.  The 1680 Pueblo Revolt forced Spanish colonizers out of New Mexico and returned sovereignty to Native people. Made in resistance to nuclear colonialism.



"Tucker's way of representing the historical past makes us reconsider what the past historical time should be and what kind of action we should take to commemorate it." Kim Taein, Curator of Museum of Contemporary Art, Busan


Atomkraftwerk Zwentendorf

16:35 minutes
color & b/w
Austria/US 
2018

Forty years ago Austrians voted against opening a nuclear power plant that had already been built. Atomkraftwerk Zwentendorf is a monument to the power of public protest and the potential of a democratic vote.

Atomkraftwerk Zwentendorf premiered in New Visions at the San Francisco International Film Festival (2018) and internationally at the Festival International Jean Rouch, Musee de l’Homme, Paris. It was Winner of the Swedenborg Film Festival, London, curated by Gareth Evans and Nora Foster and judged by Chloe Aridjis (2019) and a Finalist in the Small Axe Competition of the Tolpuddle Radical Film Festival, Dorset, UK (2019).   Additional festival screenings include: (2020) Jaipur International Film Festival, Rajasthan, India; Vienna Shorts, Austria. (2019) AmDocs, Palm Springs, California; Athens International Film & Video Festival; Big Muddy, Carbondale, IL; Chicago Underground Film Festival; Iowa City Docs; Tehran International, Iran. 







Link Rot Archive

Between January 2017 and 2021, Hope Tucker marked the days by creating The Link Rot Archive, a collection of dead and broken links to US government webpages.



Handful of Dust

9 minutes
2.35:1
US
2013

Prussian blue can be used to render images and counteract radiation poisoning. This obituary is composed of sequences of hundreds of cyanotypes, exposed in the sand using paper sensitized with handmade emulsion and negatives from a 1954 American film shot in Cinemascope. Rates of cancer in the film's cast and crew reflect that it was shot downwind during the period of above ground nuclear testing. Handful of Dust, produced in the Utah canyon where the 1954 film was shot, is designed as an antidote to recover the memory of the downwinders.


Handful of Dust premiered –as one of six short films in the official selection—at Punto de Vista, Festival Internacional de Cine Documental de Navarra, Spain (2013). It was awarded First Prize at Iowa City Docs, US (2014) and a Jury Award at the Ann Arbor Film Festival, US (2013). Additional screenings include: 25FPS, Zagreb, Croatia (2014); Ann Arbor Film Festival, US (2014); Anthology Film Archive (2014); Antimatter Festival, Victoria, BC, Canada (2013); Cairo Video Fest, Egypt (2014); Deluge Contemporary Art, Victoria, BC (2014); European Media Art Festival, Osnabrück, Germany (2014); Experiments in Cinema, Albuquerque, New Mexico (2019); Flatpack Festival, Birmingham, England (2014); FLEX, Gainesville, US and touring program: Braquage, Paris, France; Kino.Lab, Center for Contemporary Art, Warsaw, Poland; Yeşilçam Sinemasi, Istanbul, Turkey (2015); International Film Festival Rotterdam, NL (2014); Lima Independiente Festival Internacional de Cine, Peru (2014); Minneapolis International Film Festival, US (2014); Strange Beauty, Durham, US (2014); Une (h)antologie de l'Anthropocène, Les Abattoirs, Toulouse (2014); Views from the Avant-Garde at the New York Film Festival, US (2013).


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).