Post Natural History
We wrote about the stunning ‘Post Natural History’ project by French photographer Vincent Fournier last year when it was on display at the Amsterdam-based Ravenstein Gallery and we still find it one of the most interesting series we’ve seen in a long time. While the images themselves will leave you speechless regardless, Fournier in collaboration with Paris and New York-based creative Studio be-poles also created an amazing limited box set form which does ‘Post Natural History’ justice perfectly. We mentioned this collaboration in our last writing, but last month it returned on our rader as 20 of the 50 sets with signed and numbered color prints on fuji crystal archivemounted onto embossed board editions were (and are, at the time of writing only 1 edition was still available) for sale at the inspirational Los Angeles-based gallery/boutique Please Do Not Enter, which was kind enough to provide the imagery of this highly inspirational and elegant new form of the incredible series.
My photos question the world which surrounds us by creating shady, improbable, sometimes inconsistent situations, always on the border of serious history and childhood dreams.
For ‘Post Natural History’ Fournier collaborated with a team of specialists at a 3D imaging laboratory in Brussels to have imaginary evolutions super-imposed onto the photographs of the various animal species. The results include a collection depicting a lizard with reflective scales, a beetle with GPS in its antenna, and an insect with spring-loaded legs. As Fournier likes the idea of creating pictures that are not readily identifiable, remaining ambiguous, he did not want the transformations to be over-stated. For example, in the image of the rabbit only his left eye is replaced with an human eye. Leaving the viewer with a uncertainty whether these species are real or not, or even when and how they were made.
The main inspiration for Fournier has been the fact that at the beginning of this 21st century genetic modification has taken two new paths. On the one hand there is synthetic biology, which combines genetic engineering and, secondly, one can observe the growing use of reprogramming stem cells (although it’s still very controversial for instance in the USA) which leads to the production of new cells, new fabrics and new bodies. Living species from synthetic biology, integrating new DNA fragments and artificial elements (eg metal or electronics), have new properties to better adapt to new environments (and accompanying events as drought stress, disease, predators) due to climate change. These two predominantly uses of genetic modification inspired Fournier in the creation of his imagined amendments of the depicted animals.
Each box set contains a certificate signed and numbered by Vincent Fournier.
Photography by Please Do Not Enter.
Find inspirational Please Do Not Enter here.
The box set is also available at Studio be-poles Le Magasine here.