“In any climate, under any sun, death admires you in your contortions, ludicrous humanity, and often, like you, perfuming itself with myrrh, mix its irony to your insanity! »Charles Baudelaire, Danse macabre
Year 2054 … an atmosphere of the end of the world. Rats, with human airs … all too human, roam alone on a devastated Earth, emptied of all life.
Mixing humor and tragedy, this satirical Memento mori is inspired by the macabre dances, and reminds us of our finitude. Because, even if they are dead and writhing, they have a little something cute … They are like us: beautiful and tragic at the same time.
The rats, animals at the bottom of the “social” ladder, unloved by the West, often symbolize vermin, disease, invasion. Their image conveys many dark and shameful parts of our History, “History with its great ax” *; and here, as in Maus **, it is precisely them who hold out a mirror for us.
–Combining analogue photography with an original form of naturalization, this series was realized with the partnership of the taxidermist of the Museum of Natural History of Paris. The artist created a technique of “ephemeral organic sculpture” that only photography could immortalize. The body of the animals is kept in a situation for a very short period of time before collapsing. The shooting must be done in a hurry to capture the staging.
In the image of this damaged world that should be taken care of, these funny little fragile beings are really suspended, at the limit of disappearance.
Ironic anticipation? On a planet where the living would have disappeared, is it the near future that we are preparing inexorably …?
* Georges Perec, W ou le souvenir d’enfance (1975)
** Art Spiegelman, Maus (1980-1991)
On the occasion of the Rencontres d’Arles, HEMERIA publishes a book with the series:
Clarisse Rebotier : 2054
1 place Honoré Clair, Arles
du 1er au 28 juillet. 10h-19h