In conjunction with the 2012 New York Photo Festival, A.I.R. Gallery presents Creature Features, an exhibition of photography by Jeanette May and Jocelyn Chase.
Responding to the recent popular fascination with depictions of crime scenes, forensics, and surgically altered bodies, Jeanette May and Jocelyn Chase create seductively creepy representations of the macabre. In the exhibition “Creature Features,” their photographs of staged murders and dissected flesh call attention to our society’s obsession with mortality. Both artists masterfully instill subtle humor into each image, producing photographs that are simultaneously disturbing and whimsical.
In her Morbidity & Mortality series, Jeanette May examines our culture’s attraction to corpses, specifically the artfully composed images of dead bodies in contemporary films and forensic-themed television programs such as CSI. May faces the challenge of depicting, yet not reproducing, this fetishized violence, by staging the victims as “dead” pet toys. There is a perverse quality to toys that resemble real animals–already deceased or clearly marked for death.
Jocelyn Chase's photographic series, Defunct, evolved from the desire to bridge the disconnect between the natural human form and its possible transformation. Chase constructs fanciful bits of human creatures from latex, makeup, dye, strands of human hair, and discarded utilitarian items. She then photographs these disturbing offspring in the manner of a specimen, medical anomaly, or collected curiosity. The resulting images reflect a warped drive for corporeal perfection.