Daniel and Geo Fuchs
Date of Lecture: 2000-10-27
The Fuchs have recently been the recipients of international attention for their projects Conserving Fish, Conserving Animals and Conserving Humans, a trilogy brought together in the book Conserving. Photographing the scientific collections of natural history museums, they describe their work as a “project that intends to break the taboo surrounding death. Death and dying are the last taboos in contemporary society. We are at once fascinated and alarmed by it, this last secret of life. The awareness of our own mortality lives with us and in this sense life and death are always side-by-side. This is our search – to show how both can exist in a single picture.”
The Fuchs approach is similar to documentation. They refrain from employing background adjustments, movement of the subject or colour filters to alter the appearance of their subjects. The Fuchs images provide a beautiful and quiet dignity, which both seduce and repel the viewer. The images appear full of life; it becomes difficult to believe that these specimens have been stilled by death. Their graceful gestures convey emotion and personality, characteristics not usually associated with dead beings. The Fuchs are intrigued by both the subject as well as with the environment of the natural history institutions. They bring this aspect into their presentation by encapsulating all the images with plexiglas, thus maintaining the subjects’ appearance of being submerged in alcohol. In this series, the Fuchs have been successful in creating images which show the living within the dead.
Lecture held in conjunction with the exhibition of Conserving at the Stephen Bulger Gallery, 700 Queen Street West, October 28 – November 25, 2000.
Additional Links: http://www.daniel-geo-fuchs.com/