Shown here are the latest photographic works from British artist Mat Collishaw, new additions to his Insecticide series, originally started in 2006.
Many photographers have documented natural specimens over the years in many different ways, but they are invariably of complete, near-perfect ‘record’ specimens. Collishaw’s work is something very different and dark indeed; the insects looks like they met their deaths moments before the shutter was pressed, with their guts spilled out across the image. The beautiful, lush colours and velvet-like textures of their wings and bodies are in stark contrast to their mangled, torn forms. The actual prints become almost abstract when seen in person (each print measures nearly 2metres x 2metres, and again the limitations of the computer screen really don’t convey this experience) and you get lost in the rich colours and textures, almost forgetting the tragedy of the subject matter.
Collishaw is fascinated by imagery which is at once alluring and disturbing, and he describes this series as "degraded and violent memorials to a once living form". He goes on: "I'm interested in the way imagery affects me subliminally. Whether I like it or not, there are mechanisms within us that are primed to respond to all kinds of visual material, leaving us with no real say over what we happen to find stimulating. The dark side of my work primarily concerns the internal mechanisms of visual imagery and how these mechanisms address the mind.”
This series is on show at The Haunch of Venison in Berlin from Sept 12th – December 19th.
Insecticide 13, 2009