The Uncomfortable Insects of Sarah Garzoni

We frequently use insects as tools in industry, science, art and agriculture. We keep them as pets, kill them for clothes, and patent their genes. In that uncomfortable vein is a great collection of insect-related works from Sarah Garzoni. Though some of her most powerful and provocative works involve vertebrates such as upholstered pigs and shark-tooth corsets, insects get their fair share of complicated attention:

Sarah Garzoni, Nike (from Mimésis), 2002

Sarah Garzoni, Camouflage (from Mimésis), 2002

Sarah Garzoni, Cibles (from Mimésis), 2002

For Mimésis, butterfly wings were run through an ink-jet printer, than re-assembled and pinned. The art-dork in me is amused by one with this signature:

Sarah Garzoni, R. Mutt (from Mimésis), 2002

Sarah Garzoni, Rhéa, 2008

Rhéa is a beautiful melding of stick insect and plant life, held in check under a glass dome.

Sarah Garzoni, Homo-Faber, 2006

I must admit a certain jealousy to this last one, as I have sketchbooks from college of much the same thing: Swiss Army knives that sprout forth specialized insect appendages! But like any good unrealized (and perhaps somewhat simplistic) idea, I’m pleased it was actually made manifest, and with skill and humor.  

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