Secret Statues

Below the surface of the Caribbean, just off the shores of Isla Mujeres in Mexico, there is a throng of 400 statues — nuns, soldiers, street sweepers, children, gangsters, cooks, and showgirls — gathered in solidarity. They are called The Silent Evolution, and evolve is what they do: A film of fuzz-ball algae creeps over their skin, accented by fiery burgundy crust. Button polyps spread across their buttocks and along their arms. A featherstar lodges in one ear. Knobby cactus and spiny flower take root in noses. Staghorns and sunrays find kneecaps. Their bodies are painted in a kaleidoscope of hues — brilliant reds, pinks, greens, oranges, and blues — as their faces are slowly absorbed, and a new coral reef is born. You might glean the astonishing beauty of sculptor and conservationist Jason deCaires Taylor's creations through photographs, but the best way, other than actually diving off the coast of Cancun or Grenada, is by swimming with the fishes in Angel Azul. Narrated by Peter Coyote and shot by Taylor's longtime documenter Mario Alberto Chavez Navarro, this documentary charts Taylor's journey before he tackled the environmental issues that caused cyanobacteria to lay siege to his lovingly created eco-systems.

Fri., June 20, 8 p.m., 2014

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