I have not discussed my love of taxidermy. Over at Lapham's there is a long read on Barnum's American Museum and the long history of making dead animals look alive.
|Bobcat Form - Foster Taxidermy Supply|
I once dated a guy who lived with my good friend and co-worker B. Their flat was divided by a large living room and kitchen. I dated C only for a few months, but one night I went to get ice for some water and discovered the bodies of several rats in the ice box.
In zip-loc bags.
B was, and still is, an amateur taxidermist. She made surreal and fascinating tableau out of them. I loved it and immediately began to research the process involved. The skinning, de-boning, drying, and then the assembling.
|Whitetail Form - Foster Taxidermy Supply|
Today there is a whole industry built around this. Naturally. The forms that replicate musculature are amazing ghost-like images. It is like staring into the abyss of death.
The faces of these forms is what I can't help but stare at. They seem judgmental, angry. That they are molded to look very realistic is telling. One could argue that this is a good thing. That the people who kill then mount these animals should have to stare into that hollow face day in and day out.
I don't have a real problem with hunting. Nor with trophies. As long as the hunting wasn't brutal or illegal I have no issue. I would hope that the animal in question is at least used for meat.
I will admit to a massive sense of unease when coming into a room full of trophies. The false glass eyes, the slightly misty skins. Again. Ghosts. Tombs.
Like wondering through a catacomb filled with skulls.
It is a mirror of our own mortality. And it fascinates me that people who hunt would want that in their homes.
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