The Los Angeles-based artist Beatriz da Costa talks about creating A Memorial for the Still Living, with Rikke Hansen, host of Nature Calls: Animals in Visual Culture on Resonance 104.4 FM, London's arts radio station.
The installation, A Memorial for the Still Living, curated by The Arts Catalyst and John Hansard Gallery, was recently displayed at the Horniman Museum, London.
Beatriz da Costa will discuss the inspiration and processes involved in creating the installation which confronts visitors with the reality of British species threatened with extinction, and how it relates to her other projects which explore the biopolitics of endangered species. She will also describe her latest participatory mobile and social media initiative - www.4thestillliving.net
A Memorial for the Still Living is a contemporary art installation which confronts visitors with the reality of British species threatened with extinction. It is a continuation of da Costa’s investigation into interspecies. Her interest here is to confront visitors with the only mode of encounter left once a species has grown extinct: the description, image, sound or taxidermed shell of a once thriving organism. However, rather than focusing on already extinct species, da Costa’s focus is on the ‘still living’; species that have been classified as being under threat, but which still stand a chance for survival if immediate action is taken.
To coincide with the exhibition, da Costa has released the Endangered Species Finder, a mobile application that helps you to locate, identify, and submit sightings of endangered species in the UK.
A Memorial for the Still Living was commissioned by The Arts Catalyst and co-curated with the John Hansard Gallery, Office of Experiments and SCAN, for Dark Places in 2009.