Misplaced and Forgotten is meant to show society the destruction that humans can cause on and to Earth. Art director Elisabeth Herzog uses her artistic approach to form a video with such precision and detail that the imagery alone speaks a thousand words – along with some voiceover though. All of this, to make us even more aware that we’re acting wrong. As the voiceover says, “We abuse the only thing we need to live, to exist. Don’t we abuse ourselves in the end?”
The video expresses the sad reality of the harm that our society has been inflicting to Earth for centuries (especially since about the time of the industrial revolution). But the environmental crisis, although steadily growing, has been among us for several years. So what motivated Elisabeth to do this now? As she entered the abandoned warehouse where Misplaced and Forgotten is set, she instantly thought of it. Finding several objects and furniture left behind as if time had almost frozen made her feel that “you could see and feel the life that had come here before, the day-to-day until the space was just left behind, deserted, without any attachment or even care.”

As well, it gave her the impression that it was “representative of how we as humans treat our environment; how the surroundings that allow and define our existence can suddenly become so useless in our eyes once we are done with them, that we are not even able nor willing to leave it in a good condition.” Which is a reflection that the voiceover on the video also does: “We destroy our natural environment to build things for no one else but ourselves. And afterwards, after we have taken what we wanted, we throw it away.”
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Everything – from the main character to the building as a whole – has a deeper meaning than thought at first sight. For example, albino model Arvi Karvinen is supposed to symbolize humanity and uses nudity to emphasize its purity and represent timelessness. Herzog comments on Karvinen’s look saying that “he does not seem to fit into the surrounding. He seems ‘misplaced’ and his colour as well, as his nudity gives a bizarre contrast to the location, which emphasizes the message of us as humanity irrupting and furthermore using our natural environment in a wrong way.”

Everything is very detailed to correlate well with the theme of environmental ruination. When creating this video, Herzog wanted to convey the message that we need to be more attentive and conscious when it comes to our planet. People are aware of the damage thanks to scientists and mass media, but still, we continue to act in a destructive manner. As Elisabeth says, “the project serves to remind the audience that only humans can be the catalyst of their transformation.” Are we ready though to change our lifestyle? Herzog believes that people are aware of climate change and have discussions on how to help our environment but are doing almost nothing to fix it.
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“People focus on making an enormous amount of money at the expense of our own civilization, which means sacrificing a priceless value”, states firmly Elisabeth. And just by reading the news, it’s easy to believe that we’re doomed because of money and the system we live in, which make us care about just material stuff instead of what really matters at this turning point for our species. Apparently though, there seems to be a shift in the mindset of many: big corporations are trying to bring awareness and help decrease the usage of plastics, chemicals, and other harmful materials, and students and the younger generations are going on strike and demonstrations to show that they want to live in this planet for some more years.

Many people are wondering if there is any hope at this point. Herzog believes that although many political movements have failed to show their concern and help our environment – with a few exceptions, of course –, companies are finally trying to make an attempt and bring awareness to the issues surrounding the earth.“According to the world’s leading climate scientists, we have only twelve years for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1,5 ºC, beyond which even half a degree will significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people.”
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