Constanza Isaza Martinez
The ‘Evolution’ series depicts a collection of seashells in an advanced state of decay and calcification. The images recall the conventions of early modern Northern European still life painting through their emphasis on lighting, texture and minute detail. Like historical vanitas paintings, the photographs are nature morte allegories relating to the fragility and transience of the physical world. The title and the images themselves suggest an on-going cycle of decay and rebirth, and thereby the possibility of transcendence.
The process of making a photogravure print from ink made of burnt bone and other organic matter echoes the shells’ metamorphosis, while the images themselves arrest the shells’ decay, depicting a fleeting moment in their constantly changing physical state.