Natural Selection

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KKNK | Oudtshoorn | 2017

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My work specifically deals with the scientific labelling/categorisation of animal and plant specimens. 

 

The title "Natural Selection" in itself supposes the careful process or decision in selecting a specific species for observation or study. My work reflects the contradiction of "naturally" selecting a specimen. 

 

Rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) and cats (Felis catus) are still two of the most experimented lab animals today,  while the dogfish's (Squalus acanthias) numbers has diminished considerably in the last couple of years due to overfishing. The choice to portray these animals as preserved artifacts hints at a not-too-distant future.  

 

In contrast to the dwindling prospects of the abovementioned fauna, the Opuntia genus has become an invasive plant in South Africa, yet it is cultivated for its valuable fruit and leaves.

 

The process of selection is never a natural one. We deny some species their natural abilities to flourish, while we inject an unnatural growth onto others. 

 

The selection of paintings is a reminder of human intervention and the impact we have on nature.

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© Willie Schlechter 2019

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