Dressing up animals and placing them in a variety of situations is not a new concept. We have seen cats, squirrels, rats and rabbits dressed up as people, but this is the first time we are seeing someone placing decapitated heads of dead fishes atop doll-like figurines to create miniature scenes.
Paris-born artist Anne-Catherine Becker-Echivard, uses market-fresh fish to create her wacky scenes. After she is done photographing, she cooks and eats them.
“It is the perfect recycling of art. Nothing is left over - and I can live from it,” she said. No wonder, her family and friends thinks she is crazy.
Anne-Catherine Becker-Echivard first builds props and an intricate set at her flat in Berlin, Germany, taking up to three months to complete each one. When this is ready she buys her fish from a local fishmonger, keeps the head while the rest of the body is passed straight to the kitchen.
Since 1997, the artist has created dozens of the quirky artworks, some of which measure up to 2m long. Her scenes depicts surgeries, factories and TV interviews.
From early childhood, the little girl had no interest for dolls. Instead, she played with animals, either living or dead. She had rats that she kept as pets, disguising them with the doll clothes that her mother made for her, and took them everywhere. She discovered the world of fish during her apprenticeship of fishing by the side of Normandy fishermen. After that, she started using fish to make her dolls.
About her work, Anne-Catherine Becker-Echivard said:
I buy my fish from Halles de Rungis, at the Reynaud’s or in the market near my home. On arriving at my studio, I wash the fishes, scale them, and eviscerate them. Then I keep the heads, and their body, pass to the pan. Take the fishes in my factories for an example, they are in uniforms. They are asexual and give a global message. That is neither the condition of women nor the condition of men. That is man, the human being, in general. The factories represent a state conform to the man, to the common citizen as there is so much work in the production line, ‘the modern times’. The dehumanization. We are victims of our own evolution or of our own revolution. We are the suffering conformists. In my photography, I do not try to present the good nor the bad. It’s never simply funny, laborious, happy, tender or hard. There is always much tragic, sadness or sorrow in the comedy. That is what touches me. That is what I try to translate.