The Photographs of Dead Animals

The Photographs of Dead Animals

Michael Ackerman: Dead Monkey, Varanasi, 1994. Courtesy of the author.

“Why look at animals?” asks art critic John Berger. I would like to address this question by paraprashing it and asking instead, “why look at dead animals?” Extinct or rare animals are the most interesting objects of the camera of curiosities and natural history museums. Hiroshi Sugimoto focuses on the dioramas where animals are shown in their habitats. Lynn Savarese revitalizes taxidermied animals as heroes of a story. Humans and animals have equal value in Michael Ackerman’s photographs. Nobuyoshi Araki’s visual diaries contain stories on life and death. Nezaket Tekin creates utopist scenes using insects. Her other work also involves documenting dead animals.

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Animals are becoming an increasingly bigger part of our lives, our inevitable loneliness. They complement our human or spiritual side that we are deprived of. – Can Batukan
Reading time: 20 min.

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