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© 2018 by Jude Griebel

Reanimator

The series of work Reanimator reflects my interest in applying didactic presentation traditionally equated with “truth”, such as models and dioramas, to alternative, psychological understandings of the body and nature. These works explore the dichotomous tendencies of human desire to romanticize and meld with, yet remain autonomous from the natural world. In Reanimator, this conflicted relationship is navigated through detailed sculptures that reference subject matter dealing with superstitious fears surrounding nature, personifying it as a force opposing humanity.

 

Taxidermy and museum displays typically portray fragmented and idealized vignettes of the natural world, re-composed and staged, despite being in a state of destruction. Animals and their environments become suspended in time through plastics and craft technologies for both didactic and trophy purposes. In Reanimator, I seek to subvert this tradition of display and conquest through tongue-in-cheek humor in which humans succumb to natural cycles of growth and decay. The work presents a metaphorical graveyard in which nature triumphs over humankind. Flowers blossom, insects and animals mate on headstones and hands surrendering to the soil become stages for proliferation. The sculptures function as hybrids between the nature vignette and vanitas tradition, in which the futility of our inevitable end is playfully countered with a sense of acceptance and becoming.