Depending on which direction you approach from, you may encounter a lynx, a bee, a kingfisher, or a river trout in Austria-based Thomas Medicus’s new public installation. Moving around the work, one image gradually dissolves into abstract strips of color before a different creature assembles on another side. Known for his anamorphic sculptures (previously) that change with every 90-degree rotation, Medicus’s “Human Animal Binary” interlocks more than 144 strips of glass and focuses on four species native to the Tyrol region of Austria. All are endangered or threatened due to the increasing impacts of the climate crisis.
Constructed of glass, concrete, and metal, the vitrine that houses the artist’s glass animals nods to human-built structures and the urban landscape encroaching on natural habitats. The vessel itself “addresses a dilemma in which a large part of humanity finds itself: human habitat largely contradicts coexistence with non-human animals,” Medicus says in a statement. Contained within the cube, each specimen invites the viewer to look them in the eye and consider the delicate balance of the surrounding ecosystem, the fragility of existence, and the critical role humans play in both the destruction and preservation of nature.
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