Artist Christian Orendt talks with Jeanette Guinn about The Carrion Cheer: A Faunistic Tragedy an installation at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art on Calhoun Street as part of Piccolo Spoleto.
Orendt is half of the Germany-based duo Böhler & Orendt who have created a “makeshift transdimensional stopover camp,” the consisting of several interconnected tents through which viewers can walk. Each tent features an apparition of an extinct animal, such as a Steller’s Sea Cow, the Carolina Parakeet, and the Pinta Island Tortoise, which will appear as a projection on a screen of mist.
The extinct animals sing, in chorus, a song of forgiveness to humans for causing their ultimate extinction. The tents also feature cave painting-like drawings of the animals’ encounters with humans. While whimsical and imaginative, the installation comments on humans’ relationship with the world around us. Böhler & Orendt’s project confronts the notion that humans are thought as the most intelligent beings, as they suggest these animals are capable of traveling through time and dimensions to revisit us.