I'm not the first one to find the dodo compelling—more books have been written about the dodo than any other extinct species. Between 1662 and 1693, this strange giant pigeon was exterminated by humans on Mauritius Island— the only place on earth where dodos ever existed...considering the dodo, I became fascinated with the idea of actually building models of the bird and seeing how they would look in the real world. Imaginary Encounters is a reconstruction and photographic study of the long extinct dodo bird. Based on extensive research, I produced life-size sculptural reconstructions of the bird, as well as a visual photo-based study of the actual dodo remains. The resulting series is a an imaginary encounter between the viewer and the dodos on Mauritius Island.
Excerpt from his essay in the FOTOFEST2006 Catalogue.
HARRI KALLIO The DoDo and Mauritius Island, Imaginary Encounters
The DoDo and Mauritius Island, Imaginary Encounters, is a reconstruction and photographic study of the long extinct (c. 1662–1693) dodo bird. The dodo was entirely fearless of people, and this, in combination with its flightlessness, made it easy prey. When humans first arrived on Mauritius, they also brought with them other animals that had not existed on the island before, including dogs, pigs, rats, and monkeys, which plundered the dodo nests, while humans destroyed the forests where they made their homes. Based on extensive research, Kallio produced life-size sculptural reconstructions of the bird, as well as a visual photo based study of the actual dodo remains. The project culminated in photographic reconstructions of the dodo bird made with the models in their natural habitat of Mauritius Island.
Harri Kallio was born in Finland in 1970 and holds an M.F.A. from the University of Art and Design, Helsinki. He also studied at Oxford Brookes University. Kallio is the recipient of the European Publishers Award for Photography 2004, BFF Promotion Award 2003, 2002 and 2003 Finnish Cultural Foundation Grants and the 2000 and 2004 Finnish Art Council Grants. The Exhibition, Dodo and Mauritius Island, Imaginary Encounters, has already travelled in several locations in Europe and will be show extensively in U.S. during 2006, at Bonni Benrubi Gallery, New York; FotoFest, Houston; George Eastman House, New York and ICP Triennial New York. This work is also shown in Fotofinlandia exhibition in Finland, in Helsinki and The Victor Barsokevitsch Photographic Centre in Kuopio, Finland.
Kallio currently lives and works in Rochester, New York. His work is represented by Bonni Benrubi Gallery, New York.
George Eastman House, Why Look at Animals?, September 23, 2006 - January, 2007, Rochester, New York, http://www.eastmanhouse.org/
International Center of Photography, Ecotopia: The Second ICP Triennial of Photography and Video, September 14, 2006 – January 7, 2007, New York, New York, http://www.icp.org/