Lous Martens about the book: "Seventeen years ago our grandson Jaap was born. That was the start of an animal book for Jaap. I used a dummy for the OASE journal of architecture and loosely pasted in pictures of animals that I had clipped from newspapers and magazines about art, literature and science. Plus stamps and photos from advertising brochures. Then Zeno was born and the same thing happened: an animal book for Zeno. Now I was working on two books at once. Then came Anna. Julian. Luca. At this point, there were five books-in-the-making on the table. And none of those five are finished yet. The children, as well as myself, enjoy seeing the small, ever-evolving changes. The additions. These books were never intended for the outside world where I had found all the pictures. Never intended to be published. Now they lie here, grouped into one big book, because others have convinced me it's what they deserve."
- Animal Books for Jaap Zeno Anna Julian Luca
- Lous Martens
- Roma Publications
- A Guide to the Flora and Fauna of the World
- Robert Zhao Renhui
To what extent can we trust photography and science? Robert Zhao Renhui explores these questions in A Guide to the Flora and Fauna of the World, which appears to be an authentic catalogue of plants and animals but is in fact entirely fictitious.
Renhui’s guide ostensibly “documents” 55 different animals, plants and environments that have been manipulated by man but do not appear to be, and examines the myriad ways in which humans are altering nature. Here are curious creatures that have evolved in often unexpected ways to cope with our changing world, including rhinoceroses with barely visible horns and monkeys dependent on food handed out by humans. Other organisms in the series are the products of human intervention, mutations engineered to serve various purposes from scientific research to the desire for ornamentation, such as man-made gelatin grapes, genetically modified tomatoes and “unbreakable” eggs.
All living things constantly adapt to the various pressures they face including predators, pollution and environmental change. Yet the human species has undeniably emerged as the main perpetrator of the dangers that threaten the survival of other life forms. A Guide to the Flora and Fauna of the World reminds us of this fact, and above all to retain a critical, cautious and ironic attitude to the “real.”→more