“Birds in the Park” land in DC today

March 18th, 2010

@ Christy Hengst

Native Washingtonian Christy Hengst is back in DC today with “Birds in the Park,” a temporary art installation that is both an exhibition and an event (March 17-21, 2010). Starting today, catch her porcelain birds on the National Mall at 9th Street. They will be “flying” to Dupont Circle tomorrow and then Upper Senate Park on Sunday, March 21. The birds have been on a world-wide tour starting in Santa Fe, New Mexico and “landing” in California, New York’s Central Park, Germany, France and even the Galapagos Islands. With this project Hengst investigates aspects of humanity, specifically around war and peace, and asks viewers to do the same. After DC, the birds travel to Amherst College, Amherst, MA; the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center, Brattleboro, VT; the Hudson River Waterfront, Peekskill, NY; and the Hammond Museum and Japanese Stroll Garden, in North Salem, NY.

A complete schedule of “landings” can be found on Christy Hengst’s website and you can follow the birds on her blog.

The project is sponsored in part by the Environmental Film Festival, International Arts and Artists, the Washington Peace Center, and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.

A documentary film is being made about the project. Genevieve Russell of StoryPortrait Media will be in town documenting the “landings.”

Christy Hengst was interviewed by WAMU’s Rebecca Scheir and the piece aired this morning on NPR.


November 30th, 2009

Planets ©Elizabeth Fleming

Planets © Elizabeth Fleming

After the rush of the past holiday, I took a moment to listen to Elizabeth Fleming’s interview at Thoughts on Photography. Her most well-known body of work, “Life is a series of small moments” (as seen in Aline Smithson’s piece @too much chocolate, UNseen curated by Ruben Natal-San Miguel, Blurb PBN Honorable Mention, Center’s Singular Image Award 2009, etc. etc.) is a wonderful narrative of childhood, as seen through moments of the fantastical and happenstance and their intersection with the reality of daily life and raising children. These moments are the in-between moments, the indescribable moments, moments that to an untrained eye would not be worth photographing. But they are what make Elizabeth’s work so special. Her photographs encapsulate a feeling. Listening to her describe her photographs and the process behind photographing, I reflected on my own family and children and those moments that have floated away. In retrospect, I always wish to have captured more.

The day after Thanksgiving was StoryCorps’ National Day of Listening which encouraged the public to capture – with audio – an interview, conversation, or story of a family member. As a visual person I must remember that sound recordings are also a meaningful way to document moments. Genevieve Russell of StoryPortrait Media has been documenting me and my moments over the last ten years. Through still photography, video and audio recordings, she has a way of capturing those moments you never remember happening but that you always want to remember.

So this Thanksgiving, I am thankful for Elizabeth Fleming in reminding me to cherish those moments, and for Genevieve Russell in helping me remember them.

© Genevieve Russell

© Genevieve Russell

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