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Big Star

An obituary whittles one’s social contribution down to its barest form, so that: the last ninety years of a life (Bessie Cohen) become eclipsed by an escape from a flaming factor. A porn star with a virtual fan base (Lolo Ferrari) might have no obituary at all, garnering only an AP wire report. A map for a legend is drawn by a fan who rode many a Big Star shopping trolley. And a songwriter’s identity (Noel) remains as obscure as his motives for opening a popular American holiday standard. Like all obituaries, these are not direct translations of factual life stories. Rather, The Obituary Project, an ongoing film and video series with some fifteen short works completed to date, rearranges the contours of biography, to reclaim or expand a neglected history, by acknowledging the traits and attributes by which we learn to recognize and which become identifying markers of authentic life.

Tucker Hope