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Installation view, Black Sorrow, 2017, archival inkjet print, 40x60 cm each

Black Sorrow (gate), 2017, diptych, archival inkjet print, 80x130 cm each

 

Bats, who naturally hang upside down, are turned right side up, superficially, by editing, in the installation Black Sorrow. They are now transformed into dancers, acrobats, walking a tightrope with perfect balance. I visit their enclosure regularly to watch and photograph them, ‘hunting’ their representations. Each photograph striving to capture a unique posture: standing, bowing, the spreading of wings, different expressions and stares.

Bats are mysterious mammals, surrounded by tales and stories, myth and superstition. While in some cultures bats are portrayed as fear evoking, in others they are admired as a symbol of longevity and success. Bats seem to be inherently inverted, which may explain why they appear in so many stories and roles. This inversion is not only physical, but is also manifest in their nocturnal nature, and in their nearsightedness - they navigate their surroundings using the complex interpretation of sound waves in place of sight. Inversion is of course strongly related to photography. It is the means by which the photographic mechanism operates, and in many ways bats serve as a metaphor for photography, which in turn serves as a metaphor for eyesight.