Jennifer Angus, scourge of the insect world
August 27, 2006 2:49 PM   Subscribe

From this collection of framed art made only from the wings of African butterflies to Jan Fabre's beetle shell encrusted sculptures, the centuries-long war between artists their tiny insect enemies continues unabated. But never have I seen a more massive salvo for the artist community than "Terrible Beauty", an installation by Jennifer Angus. Featuring over fifteen thousand insects from the artist's personal collection (!), the exhibit features a series of rooms with textile geometric patterns on the wall created entirely by pinned insects of various forms, hues & sizes. All info on the amazing war between artists & insects found via the amazing Museum of Dust
posted by jonson (7 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I trust they all died of natural causes.
posted by riotgrrl69 at 3:01 PM on August 27, 2006

For an insect, being killed by a larger predator is a natural cause.
posted by Axandor at 4:26 PM on August 27, 2006

Awesome post, jonson - excellent Jan Fabre links, I had been following him but had not seen those links. And, wow, that Jennifer Angus work is incredible. Great post!

I had saved a few links on one of Fabre's incredible works: a few years ago, he used the carapaces of nearly a million jewel beetles (pdf) to create a dramatic ceiling in the Royal Palace in Brussels. Here is an account from one critic, who recoils at any comparisons to the Sistine Chapel, and claims Fabre is more a decorator than an artist.

I don't know if these were the kind of beetles he used, but you can see how magnificent the colors can be.

riotgrrl69, I don't know if I believe it, but Fabre said that he collected them for three years from entomology departments of universities and restaurants, where he says they are cooked an eaten for protein the way we eat mussels.
posted by madamjujujive at 4:35 PM on August 27, 2006

Wow, the Museum of Dust is fantastic, jonson. Thanks!
posted by mediareport at 4:50 PM on August 27, 2006

I trust they all died of natural causes.

From the 2nd link: "These pictures were made in Africa using wings from dead butterflies collected from the ground." See also "Am I endangering butterflies by collecting them?" and the curatorial statement for the Terrible Beauty exhibit:

The insects in A Terrible Beauty are from the artist's very large and unique personal collection...She...obtains her insects from reputable dealers who trade exclusively in specimens that are harvested as a renewable resource: hers is an ecologically sound approach.

So, probably a 'no' on natural causes, but a 'yes' on ecologically sound anyway.
posted by mediareport at 5:49 PM on August 27, 2006

Since there are something like 10 quintillion insects in the world, I don't think she's making much of a dent in the population. The exhibit is kind of creepy though, this whole making art from little dead bodies thing.
posted by moonbiter at 10:26 PM on August 27, 2006

Can't you imagine that the ATB insects — à la Busby Berkeley in chirpy sotto voce — rearrange themselves at night?
posted by cenoxo at 2:43 PM on August 28, 2006

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