Animals [2010–2015]

Although the way in which we depend upon the living world has changed significantly since the first cave paintings, animal imagery is still a clear indicator of the state of our species. This work may be viewed as a somewhat unusual toy catalogue containing small [2–10 cm], plastic, realistically modeled figurines. Countless variations of these products are placed on the global market by anonymous Chinese companies. Their main features are small size and manufacturing defects, inherently opposed to their photographic realism. The posture and movement of the figurines were modeled on photographs of real animals. These close-ups, in a way, take us back – not to the real animals, but to their photographic representations. Owing to dramatic magnification (in the final photographs, the toys have been magnified 10 to 50 times), the usually unseen details come into focus. Suddenly visible, the imperfections of the figurines correspond directly to the horribly artificial representation of the natural world – a consolation much needed in view of the environmental disaster we are all part of.

The visual hyperbole of the photographs coincides with the frightful image of animals provided by the figurines. Be it through ecology, psychology or economy, the photographs of these Animals can be read as ambivalent specimens extracted from the infinite chain of unlimited image and product consumption. In a time when advanced technologies turn animal flesh into a mass not much different from plastic, these photographs have a sinister symbolic value for the future understanding of the miniature significance of the living world.

Mihailo Vasiljevic 2014


Verzija na srpskom

Miroslav Karic, “Animals: Mihailo Vasiljevic”, 2013

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