The flowers depicted in Not a Rose are photographic documentations of sculptures composed mainly out of animal organs, posed in different natural environments. The photographs make the flowers appear to be “real,” so real that it is quite difficult to see that they are, in fact, constructions. They are supposed to look like simple snapshots, or at most “art photographs” of flowers. They appear convincing, in part, as a consequence of visual habit and expectation.
Not a Rose began as an innocent question: Why do flowers exert such a strong and immediate emotional impact on me and, I assume, many, if not most, others? Why do we find them so invigorating, so uplifting, calming, and consoling? In my somewhat perverse way, I immediately imagined a scenario that would undermine the normal relationship between human and flower, perceiver and perceived, at first as something of a personal thought experiment, but then as the basis for a more general exploration of aesthetic reception, the sociology/anthropology of beauty, and, always lurking in the background, the whole question of the human exploitation of the natural world.
Not a Rose
Artist: Heide Hatry
Production year: 2012
Catalogued as: DOCUMENTATION, AESTHETIC/BEAUTY, CONCEPTUAL/CEREBRAL, SCIENCE/NATURE, EXPANDED SCULPTURE