Elrich book cover

“Where Are the Birds? Rediscovering and Re-storying the Landscapes of John James Audubon”

Krista Elrick in conversation with Gregory Nobles

Thursday, October 28, 2021, at 7:00 PM ET

Approx. 60 minutes

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In this conversation with historian Gregory Nobles, photographer Krista Elrick will discuss her new book project, A Country No More: Rediscovering the Landscapes of John James Audubon, which reexamines Audubon’s epic life journey and the production of his beloved tome, The Birds of America. A Country No More features Elrick’s contemporary photographs of the American landscapes in which Audubon traveled two hundred years ago, as well as color collages using period maps, banknotes, and pieces of Audubon’s own artworks to help us better understand the dramatic changes in the economies and environments of the areas over time. Paired with quotes from Audubon’s journals and entries Elrick made in her own travel notebooks two centuries later, these artworks reveal how many of the lushly forested watersheds and waterways that Audubon had passionately described in his journals have been vastly altered, with many of the bird species extinct and their supporting habitat all but disappeared. While the name of Audubon is familiar and the drawings he created are still wildly popular, his eloquent writings are less well known, and this book provides a fresh and provocative perspective not only on the changing American landscape, but on Audubon himself, his times, and his enduring legacy.

 

Headshot of Krista ElrickPhotographer Krista Elrick has been an exhibiting artist and activist for more than thirty-five years. Film-based, in-camera exposures, combined with silver gelatin prints, are the foundation of her creative work. While her photographic process is rooted in the nineteenth century, it is today’s wetlands, forests, and watersheds that serve as her backdrop. She photographs the land in fragments and then constructs collages to create newly pieced dynamics that reflect the loss of harmony in the now-disrupted ecosystems. Elrick’s recent projects include Imagine a City that Remembers: The Albuquerque Rephotography Project, by Anthony Anella and Mark Childs, foreword by V. B. Price, photographs by Krista Elrick (2018); and Grasslands / Separating Species, with photographs by Krista Elrick, Michael Berman, Dana Fritz, David Taylor, and Jo Whaley and with essays by Mary Anne Redding, William deBuys, and Rebecca Solnit (Radius Books 2010), in conjunction with an exhibition at 516 ARTS in Albuquerque. Elrick received an MFA from Arizona State University in 1990 and held a Jay and Deborah Last Creative Artist Fellowship at AAS in 2016.

 

Headshot of Greg NoblesGregory Nobles is professor of history emeritus at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he spent thirty-three years as a faculty member and administrator. He was elected to AAS membership in 1995 and has served in a variety of roles, including as leader of the Center for Historic American Culture’s (CHAViC) Summer Seminar in 2014 and, most recently, as Distinguished Scholar in Residence during the 2016–17 academic year. His most recent book, John James Audubon: The Nature of the American Woodsman, was published by the University of Pennsylvania Press in 2017.

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