Zana Briski: Reverence: The Migrating Insect Museum

Zana Briski’s Reverence for Insects
Opens in New York December 21, 2012

The world of insects can provoke fear or curiosity in humans. Zana Briski hopes it is the latter. she wants us to look at this project as a way of confronting our fears ans those things that appear different from us.

Zana Briski is an award winning photographer and filmmaker who is best known as the director of Born into Brothels, the 2004 winner of the Academy Award for Documentary Feature. For her film, she photographed the harshness of life for those born into the brothels of India. In 2002, Zana founded Kids with Cameras and she published a book of the children’s photographs, Kids with Cameras. Her self-published book, is a collector’s edition of her own photographs, Brothel.

Briski’s first love is animals and the natural world. So for this project she turns her camera to an entirely different subject, those who live in the entomological world, those of the praying mantis. Her new project is called Reverence, named for the state in which she photographs and for that she wants to communicate through her work. Zana collaborates with living insects in the wild, taking their portraits in photographs and film. She makes the statement, “when I have eye contact with an insect, I am in a state of awe and wonder. It is this want to transmit through my images.” The project was mostly self-funded and she used Kickstarter that enabled her to raise funds to hire the architect to build the Reverence structure.
In this project she brings the exquisite world of the insect, music, and film together in a migratory museum. This temporary structure is inspired by the exquisite shape of praying mantis ootheca, or eggpod. This travelling museum will explore the human insect relationship in the world. It opens on December 21, 2012, in New York. This exhibit is housed in a 10,000 square foot structure that was designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban. After its opening in NY this project will travel to parks around the world. Briski will also work with a master printmaker to develop unique large-scale photographs on handmade Japanese papers.

Briski sees a world that society often fears, that which it does not understand. Briski’s primary interest is to bring our relationship with nature and Earth to the forefront. She wants us to rethink how we as humans look at other creatures by bringing them face to face with us. For Briski, insects just don’t exist as scientific specimens but they exist as attentive, knowing, and curious beings. She also goes on to say, the emphasis will not be on a scientific or an analytical perspective, but an emotional and spiritual one. Any funds raised from ticket sales, book, movie and print sales will go back to support environmental organizations and organizations which support native peoples, such as the San of the Kalahari.”

Click below to watch her video
Some of the many books at the Central Library about Insects
DVDs and Blu-Ray
Disc 3 includes Insects
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