A craw of carnivores, 2018, pigment ink on stretched canvas, 100cm x 163cm
Anne Zahalka’s images are incisive and humorous, often appropriating familiar clichés and subverting common attitudes to reflect on culture, race and ecology. In ‘Wild Life in the Age of the Anthropocene’, Zahalka continues her investigation into the relationship between people and the natural world, which she began in her series ‘Wild Life’ (first in 2006 and then in 2017).
Scientists have used the term ‘Anthropocene’ to describe an ecological turning point where the impact of human behaviour has significantly and permanently affected our Earth, contributing to drastic changes on climate. In response to this, Zahalka has travelled to natural history museums across the world to record dioramas, first in New York and more recently in Mumbai. Here, the artist turns a compelling and critical lens onto taxidermied animals in lush, constructed environments based on science, questioning not only our impact on the natural world, but also the way in which these museums construct knowledge. In these images, didactic tools are turned on their heads through her digital interventions. Zahalka introduces planes slashing across a painted sky, rubbish piling up beside an animal encounter, and cityscapes infiltrating the horizon in order to mark out unsettling ethical issues.