Event Name A Language of the Vanishing: Claudia Terstappen
Start Date 5 Jan 2017 10:00 am
End Date 12 Feb 2017 4:00 pm
Duration 38 days and 6 hours

A Language of the Vanishing brings together two series of photographs by Claudia Terstappen that prompt us to probe our relationship with the natural world.

Photographs taken in the dark recesses of the Natural History Museum in Berlin reveal jars, drawers and cabinets filled with carefully pinned and labelled specimens amassed in the nineteenth century for the museum’s scientific collection. Terstappen captures the painstaking efforts that have been made by scientists and museums to document, classify, label, and organize specimens in an attempt to understand and map the diversity of species.

This series of museum photographs is juxtaposed with large format images of roadkill that is a now ubiquitous sight on the roads that traverse the Australian landscape. Adopting the conventions of science, each image depicts a single creature, photographed in situ without changing the animal’s position.

Deliberately referencing the vivid styling of advertisements, her billboard scale photographs of roadkill remind us of the environmental costs of consumerism.

Magnified and still, these photographs document a vanishing world. Death reveals itself in silence; and the animals in their graceful stillness raise questions as to future opportunities to interact with wild animals; in a world in which our own survival is directly linked to that of our flora and fauna.