12 Writers Respond to Images by Erik Schurink
In this handsome feuilleton twelve writers have undertaken to answer as many images from Erik Schurink’s “Cryptozoo” portfolio. With his mind on paradise, theme of a gallery show he was co-curating in Brooklyn, he started to notice animals coming out of hiding as if summoned. They emerged from sidewalks, walls, and streets, from bits of industrial scrap, from wire window-grates, from rust stains and scuffings in dust, and posed briefly for his camera.
When we saw them, we knew they wanted to inhabit a book, so we invited writers to answer some one particular image, chosen for them by lot. Here’s what we asked:
One way to think about these images is as illustrations of mimicry. Like the famous moths that turned themselves, over generations, from white to dark grey, in order to be invisible on tree-trunks stained by factory-smoke, these animals have hidden their body-forms to escape attention — or declared them to gain it.
If you agree to participate in this project, we will send you one of the Cryptozoo images.
What you will then write will be a further or analogous or reverse mimicry of one of the Cryptozoo images. Maybe you will want to make a form appear in alien matter — or show a becoming or a becoming-visible — or a gesture. Maybe you will want to work in some visual-verbal manner, or work with sounds. All we ask is that your writing answer the image in some way and that it be original to this project.
Twelve rose to the bait. This collection, fourth in our Libellulæ series is the result.