Rachel Berwick deals with questions of temporality, extinction and the human drive to collect and recollect. "A Vanishing" casts an experience of the moment, at the end of a gradual decline but in the blink of an eye, when the passenger pigeon vanished. How can one express the irreversibility of extinction? In Berwick's installation, 550 cast amber passenger pigeons are arranged to form V-shapes on brass rods suspended from the ceiling. They decrease in concentration gradually as they near the center where there hangs a solitary bird. The stage light casts shadows of the birds - once free, then caged by bars, before the haunting reality of extinction occupies the dark recesses of memory. As if to simultaneously belie yet reinforce the ominous shadows, a vital glow in the cast amber diminishes toward the lone central bird.
Extinct birds, brass, pigeons, Salt Lake Art Center