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American Cockroach 
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Product Details 
96 pages 
Published 2004 
From Publishers Weekly 
It might seem odd—if not implausible—for an artistic medley of photographs to take the reviled cockroach as subject and inspiration. But the artwork and essays in this slim volume actually manage to humanize these "flat, twitchy, squishy, spine-legged" but often innocuous pests. Chalmers unleashes a remarkable creative energy on her spindly subjects, often gussying up their carapaces with paint and even rhinestones as she positions them against rich backgrounds—from exotic flowers to a living room couch—in photographs that encompass a broad range of moods. Some of the extreme close-ups, like one where a cockroach peers through a kitchen window, portray an inquisitive, harmless creature that could star in children’s books. Up close, we glimpse the spindles on its legs, the breadth of its shell, its comically large antennae. But the starker black-and-white photographs showing dead cockroaches lashed to a plank or dangling like clothespins send shivers down the spine. In each instance, the magnified images and their incongruous elements force readers to confront a creature that they shrink from and seek to kill—thereby wrenching ingrained disgust into consciousness. 50 four-color and duotone images. 
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.  
About the Author 
Catherine Chalmers lives and works in New York City. She has exhibited around the world, in New York at P.S. 1 (a MoMA affiliate); the Kunsthalle Vienna and Kunsthalle Basel; Mass MOCA; Yerba Buena Museum, San Francisco; and the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, among others. Her work has been featured in a variety of publications, including the New York Times, Blind Spot, ARTnews, Harper's, Discover, and Artforum.  
Product Description: 
Catherine Chalmers's second Aperture monograph invites us to meditate on the pleasures and terrors of the common domestic pest, Periplaneta americana, also known as the American cockroach. In three different series of photographs, "Infestations," "Imposters," and "Executions," Chalmers challenges us to reconsider how we distinguish between creepy infestation and acceptable nature. With a slight B-movie quality, the images push us to think carefully about the ways in which we determine some creatures to be lovable and others best squashed under a shoe.

This photographer...

Foodchain: Encounters Between Mates, Predators, and Prey 
Catherine Chalmers; Michael L. Sand (Editor); & Gordon Grice
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American Cockroach 
Catherine Chalmers (Photographer); & Catherine Chalmers (Interview)
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