Thursday, September 11, 2008

Bug Art

I've severely neglected my blog, the reason being that I'm spending all my time on my University studies - yes, all my time! Oh, except for the time that I'm working, sleeping, and otherwise sustaining myself. So, here's a new installment. Bug Art. This is art 'created' by a French guy called Hubert Duprat and these pictures are from an exhibition called 'The Idea of the Animal' at RMIT Gallery in 2006. When I saw these images on the invitation I was excited. I'm very partial to anything that might be [masquerading as, or really] jewellery. So I went up to RMIT to check these bug and jewel things out. I thought they'd be about the size of say, a lipstick container, but they weren't. They were much smaller, about the size of, um, your little finger nail (if its a long one, and not bitten or otherwise defaced). So, these are caddis fly larvae which usually make their little coocoon-things out of whatever's around, sticks, leaves, tiny pebbles. I thought that Duprat had made these little gold and jewell 'cases' for the bugs himself, and was impressed by that. But in fact what happens is that he only allows the bugs access to these materials - gold flecks, turquoise, pearls etc - to make their own cases with. So the bugs made the gorgeous gold cases, not Duprat. I was less impressed by this. I had initially been admiring what I thought was the artist's choices in materials and construction, when I found out that it was the bugs' choice(s), although I still find them really beautiful I was a bit less impressed. While at the gallery there was a video on a very large screen - it took up quite a bit of one of the walls - of the bugs at work making their cases out of the material Duprat allowed them. Some of us watching the video were asking 'Is this actually ethical? Are the bugs being exploited?' But we weren't really sure of the answer to that. So in the exhibit the bugs, which live in water, were walking around with these cases on their backs, there were also some empty cases in another area. I wondered whether the bugs' spittle, or whatever they use as glue, was strong enough to make these things able to be used as actual jewellery, but I don't know. Here are some more useful links on this topic. All gorgeous though, whoever gets the credit for 'making' them.

1 comment:

Livia Indica said...

That's pretty freaky. Fascinating, but weird.