Tag Archives: Natacha Merritt

Spider Sex

We’ve moved on to the next phase of our artistic creations with the Viral Pandas talking heads.

Having already papered over the cracks of our He/She Head, we’re now papering up the Wild Man for a closer inspection of skin. We blogged about skin and our interest in this area using examples from Kim Joon and a pig tattooist.

Look closely.

'Wild Man', Skin

‘Wild Man’, Skin

Whereas the He/She Head became synonymous with sculpting ideals and making things more attractive, our Wild Man became more and more grotesque with every layer.

We began to wonder at which point does the grotesque simply turn people away, and at which point does it lure people in.

For example, this week we saw an article from the Guardian go viral: Photographer Natacha Merritt’s best shot: ‘This is a spider’s erection. I boiled it in acid then added extra lighting for a romantic feel‘.

So, what is all the fuss about?

Here is the image, which strays somewhat in to the grotesque.

Or was it the words that caught our attention?

Natacha Merritt's Best Shot

Natacha Merritt’s best shot

Jimmy48 left a comment on the Guardian piece saying:

‘This is a spider’s erection. I boiled it in acid then added extra lighting for a romantic feel’

As a way to get the readers attention, few lines could come close to this.

AlexJones echoed these comments with:

If only there were a prize for Best Standfirst of the Year, this would surely win it. Perhaps someone should inaugurate it.

Exploring ideas around what goes viral around a World Wide Web infested with billions of images all fighting for attention, it’s interesting to see what wins and loses.

Is this about spider sex or is it about us?

We’ll leave you to make your own minds up whether you feel this piece is genuinely of interest to the Media or just a sensationalist stunt, but we certainly think it’s important to read the comment from the artist herself, which puts it in to context. As we considered with the WWF campaign and I Hate Balls campaign, does it leave people talking about the right topics, and those that the artist intended?

My professor was kind enough to let me avoid making an insect collection and instead I made identification to species based on the specimen’s genitals. That’s how I came to photograph spider genitals. I soon realized that of the millions and millions of insect species on this planet, thousands go extinct without ever even having been documented. So, if collecting some specimens helps us now they are there, we are one step closer to possibly protecting their “rights”. FYI as of now only a few species of butterflies have been granted endangered species status with all of its privileges.
The way I see it now, after many semesters of studying environmental issues, is that their needs to be as much attention given to spiders and insects as there is to “cuddlier” species. The fantastic complexity of this erection needs to be shared with the world. This Lycosid is a mascot. I think most viewers will think twice before stepping on a spider. And if you must, at least have a quick look to see if her has an erection.
Cheers!
Natacha Merritt

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