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Friday, May 9, 2008

More Diana Scherer

Here are some of my favorite images by the talented Diana Scherer:

"Kudde" ©Diana Scherer

Works from the series "Still-Life"' ©Diana Scherer

Diana was kind enough to let me use these images on my blog and she also directly expressed that it is important to know that no animals were purposefully killed for her work. She also mentioned that viewers have very strong reactions to her work.
This made me think about what exactly it is that touches a nerve with people when they view her work. As I mentioned previously I liked the work, was affected by it and because of my own personal ethics in regard to animal welfare I was concerned with the provenance of the animal bodies.
However I suspect that her frank examination of life and death is what generates such a strong reaction in most people. Diana said while she deals with tragedy & death, her work is really about life. I very much agree. In western society death is the topic hardest to discuss, even though death obviously is a part of life.
Another body of work that came to mind was Amy Stein's celebrated "Domesticated" series. My understanding is that Ms.Stein used taxidermied animals for her imagery, but her use of dead animals caused no negative reactions.
Diana's work is beautiful and direct - there is no room for misunderstanding of what she is depicting - and I think this can be difficult for some.
Most people buy their meats in supermarkets and never think of where it came from. When death is shown in movies or on TV it is 'sanitized' and even the news shield the viewers. In the US news for example it is rare to see footage of dead or injured whether they are US citizens or other nationals. While I agree that portrayal of violence should be curbed, I do not think there is enough intelligent discourse regarding death.

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