While it’s true that I look at a lot of images of dead animals, more specifically dead animals memorialized, a photography series hadn’t moved me like this one in a while. The pictures are something so different, so strange. They’re sweet, but also disturbing. There was intimacy and time spent with the animals’ bodies required to create these photos. The artist’s aim was to shift the type of image we keep of bodies of the deceased. It’s inevitable that viewers recall memento mori photography; I see this series as a twist on those postmortem photographs of the Victorian era.
There are different types of “humanization” in the images. Some of the animals appear to be sleeping, but some are partaking in human activities, wearing clothing, and some are simply “hanging out.” The situations are quite bizarre and intriguing; they remind me of storybook illustrations or “dollhouse setups” like Walter Potter‘s, but they don’t feel disrespectful. Perhaps costumed and of course staged, but a loving sendoff in the end. (Some of my thoughts inspired by comments on the Miss Moss post about this series, the perspective of the introduction and the comments of which I thought were so interesting.)
From the artist’s statement: I’ve lost a very close friend three years ago. I couldn’t get out of my head the image of her body covered with newspapers. While I was trying to get rid of this image, I realized that the image of her alive was fading away as well. Her last photograph shouldn’t have been like that. Or I shouldn’t have seen that photograph. I started to think about death. I tried to make into a project how it would positively affect me to remember the deceased in the future from visual, perceptive and emotional points of view.
This project is actually about what the deceased leave behind, how the ones left behind remember them or want to remember them more than those who pass away. With the naïve frames I will try to create, it’s about how my subconscious processes them, about the reality we know and how we try to forget what happens after death. By humanizing deceased animals and showing them as if they were sleeping, I tried to briefly touch death and create a series of photographs about pushing away the feeling of disappearing before it hits us hard in the face.
Visit artist's site: emirozsahin.com
Found via: Feature Shoot