HYBRIDS: Susanne Ramsenthaler

30 November 2006 - 06 January 2007

511 GALLERY is pleased to present new photographs by Susanne Ramsenthaler. The series, Hybrids, explores the artist's interest in liminality, particularly matter that hovers on the fine line between attraction and repulsion.

The series of photographs emphasizes the idea of metamorphosis and mutation of life forms. In creating these images, Ramsenthaler collected differing species of jellyfish from the coasts of Scotland and digitally turned them over on their backs; she then set them on photographic paper in a light box to create a new "species" of jellyfish, unlike any found in nature. The fact that they are presented on a white background, thus removed from their "natural" context, plays on the idea of taxonomy, classification, and object collection. The artist's digital intervention (a simple flip of the viewing plane) transforms these jellyfish into a new digital species suggesting strange habitats and modes of existence at once simple and sophisticated, while still retaining a connection to organic life forms.

Ramsenthaler uses light and color in such a way as to constantly reference the fragility and ephemerality of these hybrid forms. Hybrids examines in visual terms, an encounter with jellyfish - "medusa" is the name given to their adult shape - and our ambivalent reaction to them. At the same time, these new species make a visceral connection to the more primitive functions of our own bodies and species.