Second Nature, digital photos

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digital photography ©  Micheline Durocher

While completing an artist residency in the lush protected landscape of the Toronto islands I was surprised to find a bunch of artificial plants on the premises.  I culled this stash of dusty ever-lasting plastic greenery into the studio.  Looking at this heap of imitation made me think about what inhabits the memories of what is called “bucolic” and “nature”.   I considered  what it means today to be faced with the ever-changed contemporary landscape which has been heavily urbanized.  What does it means to be human in the face of these changes in the environment?

I explored the sculptural potential of co-joining the synthetic plants with my body,  and  created personas that alluded to 17th century allegorical landscape painting,  the  fragile equilibrium of  perhaps a Daphne, or yet another deity enmeshed in manufactured foliage and homey objects such as bright and cheerful bowls, plastic fruits, and synthetic fabrics.

Covered in mock greenery, I thought about nature domesticated,  the beliefs surrounding its pictorial  picturesqueness,  reminiscent somehow of fauns and deities, forlorn lovers and dollar store romantics.

My  photo-performative leafy human personas display teetering poses that evoke an out-of-control body or efforts to control the body entrapped in a fake nature.  Ill-organized,  unclassifiable, and without defined form, they are tools through which I create moments of absurdity that speak to questions of human’s place in the natural world and consider the physical and psychic consequences of this disconnection in our existence.