Amy Stein: Domesticated
Amy Stein creates amazing dioramas that explore her own version of natural history in her photographic series called "Domesticated." The photographs in this series were inspired after meeting a number of taxidermists and becoming interested in the psychology behind venturing into the wild to kill an animal and then paying a considerable amount of money to reanimate it and make it a permanent fixture in the living room. "To me this practice came to perfectly symbolize our schizophrenic relationship with the natural world. We consciously insulate ourselves from the wild around us and the wild within us, and then we subconsciously long to reconnect with the natural world.
The images often involve re-creations of real stories of human and animal encounters in a small town in Pennsylvania that borders a forest. Once she has a story that she finds interesting, she researches the behavior of the animal involved, scouts locations, casts people and secures the appropriate taxidermied animals to recreate the event. Because of the "freeze-frame" nature of a photograph, it is nearly impossible to tell that the animals in the images are dead. The mix of real and fake creates an effect that is wonderfully unsettling.