Free Event

Thu, March 27, 12:30pm

Juror Presentation: Hope Tucker

Michigan Theater (Screening Room)

The Obituary Project

As director of The Obituary Project, a compendium of experimental salvage ethnography that transforms a quotidian form of narrative, Hope Tucker reframes the passing of sites, people, communities, rituals, cultural markers, and ways of being.

She has documented shuttered bread factories, fallen witness trees, and disappearing civil rights era landmarks; animated cyanotypes of downwinders and old instructions for making fishing nets by hand; recorded mobile phone footage of the last public phone booths in Finland; written the entire text of a video out of paper clips, a Norwegian symbol of nonviolent resistance; and retraced the path of protest that closed the only nuclear power plant in Austria.

Like all obituaries, these are selective interpretations of rich and complex lives. The Obituary Project rearranges the contours of biography by acknowledging the attributes by which we learn to recognize and which become markers of authentic life.

Films Showing:

Bessie Cohen, Survivor of the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Fire

(Hope Tucker, 2000) 3 min

The last ninety years of a complex life become eclipsed by an escape from a burning building....

Lolo Ferrari

(Hope Tucker, 2001) 2 min

An obituary whittles one’s social contribution down to its barest form....

Big Star

(Hope Tucker, 2003) 3 min

The map-maker grew up down the street from where the car hit the tree and rode many a Big Star cart....

Missing in the Severe Clear

(Hope Tucker, 2001) 4 min

'Severe clear' is aviation slang for clear, crisp, blue skies with boundless visibility....


(Hope Tucker, 2005) 5 min

A songwriter's identity remains as obscure as his motives for penning a popular American holiday standard....

Vi holder sammen (We hold together)

(Hope Tucker, 2011) 4 min

A typeface formed by hand from paper clips spells out an imperfect construction of a national history as it visualizes a period of nonviolent resistance. Norwegian with English titles...

Puhelinkoppi (1882–2007)

(Hope Tucker, 2010) 8 min

Marking a shift in the functioning of private and public space, after existing as a sidewalk staple for over a century, the phone booth in Finland is now extinct. The artist...

Vermont says goodbye to Solzhenitsyn

(Hope Tucker, 2012) 4 min

The Russian writer spent twenty years in exile in a remote American village. This pixellation, part one of a diptych, was shot on the anniversary of his death. Russian with English...

Ellis Wilson’s Funeral Procession

(Hope Tucker, 2012) 8 min

When painter Ellis Wilson died in 1977, his documentation of the lives of people of African descent was not well known. Ten years later, his work Funeral Procession became part of...

The Sea [is still] Around Us

(Hope Tucker, 2012) 4 min

Rachel Carson is dead, but the sea is still around us…this small lake is a sad reminder of what is taking place all over the land, from carelessness, shortsightedness, and...

Handful of Dust

(Hope Tucker, 2013) 9 min

Prussian blue can be used to render images and counteract radiation poisoning....

Bryant’s Grocery & Meat Market

(Hope Tucker, 2008–) 1 min

After buying candy at this grocery store in Money, Mississippi in 1955, 14 year old Emmett Till was brutally murdered. His killers were acquitted, fueling the civil rights movement. Historical markers...