Friday, July 30, 2021

Shrine for the Sixth Extinction Proposal


I just completed a proposal for an installation of a Shrine for a show about Dia de los Muertes, the "Day of the Dead".  Such Shrines traditionally remember and celebrate the Beloved Dead - among Mexican Catholics, whole families will gather in a graveyard to honor those that are gone.  But for us, Humanity that is, our whole world is a kind of "graveyard".  Each Walmart parking lot represents the destruction of a habitat, of countless interwoven lives of animals, insects, and vegetation destroyed and possibly lost forever in order to create that parking lot.  I don't know if I'll get to construct my Shrine, but I got excited envisioning it, and felt like sharing on this Blog some of the images that, hopefully, will come together to create it.  

Most importantly, I want the "roll call" or list of extinct or critically endangered species to be on each side of the Shrine:  and that list will continue down to the floor, the last pages empty, showing that the "roll call" of those to be remembered is by no means complete, or over.

Below is the Proposal.  Wish me luck!  As Mr. Walters said:  how sad to know that so many of our fellow Beings, our friends who create such diversity - are soon to be gone.  Let us at least remember.  Maybe, just maybe, that will help in re-membering our lost Family of life.


"Psychologists have not begun to ponder the emotional toll of the loss of fellow life.  Nor have theologians reckoned the spiritual impoverishment that extinction brings.  To forget what we have had is to forget what we have lost.  And to forget what we have lost means never knowing what we had to begin with."

Mark Jerome Walters, The Nature Conservancy (1998)

As we go about our daily lives, a mass extinction of fellow lives and other species evolutions is happening - the sixth in the history of planet Earth.  We are the cause of what is now called the Sixth mass extinction, or the Anthropocene extinction. Scientists at the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity have concluded that every day as many as 150 species are lost.  They suggest that as many as 30 to 50 percent of all species may be going extinct by 2050.

Dia de Los Muertos is about remembering the Beloved Dead, those that are gone.  I propose creating a memorial shrine on this special day to remember the many Beings gone and leaving us, to our great loss and impoverishment. Proposal is for a Shrine no larger than 45" x 30" composed of paper panels listing the names of extinct and vanishing Species, with Centerpiece, Narrative, Visuals of species included in tableau.

Lauren Raine, July 30, 2021



Tamara said...

Heartbreaking and needed. Incredibly powerful, Lauren. Thank you for your heart and vision.💜

Trish MacGregor said...

Wow, Lauren. This is brilliant! Wishing you tons of luck with this! When do they decide?

Lauren Raine said...

Thanks to both of you. I guess they'll let me know pretty soon - it's a kind of park with a restaurant and a gallery, I may be too "heavy" for their usual cheery environment. But thinking that this could be something to propose outside of local venues (and thanks to gentrification, there aren't many local venues).....but maybe a arts center elsewhere would be interested. I'd really like to do it!