Item description for American Cockroach by Catherine Chalmers...
Overview The artist uses the despised cockroach as her subject in a collection of photographs that find the troublesome pest in a variety of poses and in unusual locations, including a living room couch and a bedroom dresser.
Catherine Chalmers's second Aperture monograph invites us to meditate on the pleasures and terrors of the common domestic pest, Periplaneta americana, also known as the American cockroach. In three different series of photographs, "Infestations," "Imposters," and "Executions," Chalmers challenges us to reconsider how we distinguish between creepy infestation and acceptable nature. With a slight B-movie quality, the images push us to think carefully about the ways in which we determine some creatures to be lovable and others best squashed under a shoe.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.5" Width: 7.75" Height: 11.5" Weight: 1.5 lbs.
Release Date Nov 15, 2004
ISBN 1931788391 ISBN13 9781931788397
Availability 0 units.
More About Catherine Chalmers
Chalmers has had solo exhibitions of her work at P.S. 1 in New York City and at the Center on Contemporary Art in Seattle.
Reviews - What do customers think about American Cockroach?
Quite a special book Jan 26, 2007
I bought this book last year because I needed cockroach reference photos for my work. Well I got that alright and much more. The details are great and after leafing through scientific books, this was a treat. Now for those of you interested in it for entertainment value, well, this has to be near the top of the list for a conversation starting coffee table book. Wow! The photos are detailed, well lit, the buggers are well staged and I think it will cause every reaction in people from screams and horror to outright laughter. It really is both an awesome idea as well as an awesome execution (no pun intended) of that idea.
Check your phobias at the door Aug 3, 2005
Seeing that this remarkable collection hasn't been reviewed yet I thought I'd put in my two cents. To be truthful I don't own the book but I have looked through it carefully and I'm sure I'll buy it one of these days.
The book is a collection of close up photographs of cockroaches being anthropomorphised through constructed sets (like a dollhouse) and poses. The result is quite humorous and profoundly creepy.
Some of the compositions seem to echo William Wegman and his dogs, and others Anne Geddes and her babies. You could call it a homage, but I prefer to think of it as a blistering satire. That may reflect my own artistic taste, rather than that of the artist.
Few people would imagine themselves developing a sympathy for cockroaches, but the section of black and white photographs featuring tortured and dead insects is suprisingly poignant, perhaps because the preceeding chapters work so hard to portray the insect in human terms.
Obviously you have to decide for yourself whether the subject matter is for you. What I can say is that the concept is creative and well executed.