|Notes on GLASS EYES
At first glance, the photographs in Eric Slayton’s series, “Glass Eyes” appear to be nature studies, shots of animals taken in the wilds of Africa or Greenland. But there’s something suspiciously formal about them, a posed quality despite the blurring around the edges that creates the impression of motion. The Walrus Bull from Greenland, for example, looks like an elder statesman, sitting for a portrait. You soon realize that they are photographs of museum dioramas, all from the Museum of Natural History in New York: the gazelle and zebras, the ostrich and falcon are all frozen in time, mid-stride or mid-flight. Slayton is an environmental scientist as well as a photographer, and his background informs this work. One could read these pictures as a critique on industrialized societies, and their tendency to sanitize nature and keep it behind glass. But they’re also clearly, and maybe primarily, about the diversity and amazing variety to be found in the natural world.